INVESTMENT worth about N700 billion ib Nigeria’s agricultural sector was destroyed by floods in 2022, according to the latest report by the National Agricultural Extension Research Liaison Services (NAESRLS).
Executive Director of NAESRLS, Emmanuel Ikani, said last year’s floods damaged crops and destroyed agricultural land, leading to reduced yields and economic losses for farmers.
He said it is estimated that there are over 3000 gully erosion sites in the 10 most-affected States in the South-East, South-South, and South-West regions of Nigeria.
Presenting the executive summary to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Mahmood Abububakar, Ikani noted that communities and government need to work collaboratively to implement measures aimed at reducing the risk of flooding and its impacts.
He said, “The economic value of the agricultural-related losses due to the 2022 flood was estimated to be about N700 billion.
“The 2022 flooding situation damaged roads, bridges, and other transport networks, making it difficult for people to travel and for agricultural goods to be transported. The flood also damaged agricultural stores and warehouses.
“The flood had serious consequences for human populations, including loss of life, injury, and displacement. It led to the spread of waterborne diseases and disrupted access to clean water and other necessities.”
Ikani added that as of September 14, 2022, many communities in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States regions had reported cholera outbreaks, with 586,110 and 320 cases, respectively, and while about 300 have died.
He explained that the release of water from the Lagdo dam in Cameroon was the main cause of the flood in South-South, South-East and North-Central regions of the country while flooding in the North-West, North-East and South-West was due to heavy rainfall and blockage of existing drainages.
“Kebbi, Delta, and Cross River States with calculated index values of 0.3500, 0.2951 and 0.2218, respectively were the most severely affected by the 2022 flood while Nasarawa, FCT and Oyo with 0.0515, 0.0243 and 0.0079, respectively were the least affected,” he noted.
Ikani further stated that a total of 1,798 communities were affected in 263 LGAs, while the major causes were releases of excess water from Lagdo Dam, Cameroon, and excessive rainfall.
He said interventions aimed at alleviating the effect of the flood were mostly shared after the occurrences of the flood by 23 states while farmers in 7 States did not receive any form of intervention during and after the flood situation.
“The assessment showed that the 2022 flooding damaged crops, washed farmlands and destroyed livestock and fish resources. The enormous flood is a potential threat to food security,” he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, called for collective efforts to educate Nigerians on how to mitigate flooding.