I wonder why FG hasn’t declared national emergency on flooding – Obi

PRESIDENTIAL candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has wondered why the Nigerian government is yet to declare flooding across the country a national emergency.

Obi said on Saturday, while visiting parts of Anambra and Bayelsa states that are ravaged by the flood, that he expected the government to “formally declare a flood emergency and intervention modalities” to facilitate aid for affected communities.

The ICIR reports that the country is experiencing its worst flooding crisis in over a decade.

Nigeria had a similar disaster in 2012, but it was less severe than what it currently faces.

Available records show that the 2012 floods killed 363 people and displaced over 2.1 million in the country. It affected 30 of the nation’s 36 states.

But in 2022, the casualties are higher. Over 600 people had died by October 16.

The number of people displaced is most likely to be higher too. Over one million persons had been displaced by October 16, while nearly three million people had been affected, according to the Federal Government.

Apart from human and livestock casualties, displacements, and destruction of property and infrastructures, floods in Nigeria have slowed human and vehicular movements.

For instance, fuel trucks coming from the South have been facing difficulty in moving from Lokoja to Abuja and other parts of the North, causing fuel scarcity in the region and gridlock on the highway. Owing to the floods, many people could not travel between the two regions and across regional states.

Many farmlands have been washed away by floods, threatening food security in a nation where millions live in poverty.

On Saturday, October 22, this newspaper reported how former president Goodluck Jonathan allegedly became an internally-displaced person in his Otuoke hometown because of the flood.

At a media briefing on Sunday, October 16, the Federal Government urged state governments to evacuate their citizens from areas affected by the flood, and from flood-prone areas.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who gave the briefing, said despite concerted efforts to avert the consequences of the 2022 flooding season, as forecast by the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet), many state governments did not prepare for the floods.






     

     

    She blamed the state governments for the astronomical rise in casualties and destruction unleashed on the property and other infrastructures by the floods.

    Her words, “Unfortunately, over 603 lives have been lost as of today, October 16, 2022. A total of 1,302,589 persons have been displaced, 2,504.095 persons have been affected, on the whole, 2,407 persons have been injured. A total of 82,053 houses are completely damaged, while 121,318 are partially damaged. 108,392 hectares of farmland were partially destroyed, while 332,327 hectares were totally destroyed, including many roads and other critical infrastructure.

    “While we mourn the unfortunate boat mishap in Anambra State and other locations, please we must note that we are not completely out of the woods because the metrological agencies are warning that states like Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa are still at risk of experiencing floods up till the end of November.”

    The ICIR reports that Adamawa, Gombe, Jigawa, Kogi, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Lagos, Benue, Niger, Kaduna, Anambra, Kebbi, and Nasawara are among the states where floods had wreaked havoc this year.

     

     

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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