NEWS

31 States, 148 LGAs Risk Severe Floods- FG Warns

Professor Joseph Utsev, Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, has alerted that 148 Local Government Areas (LGAs) spanning 31 states are at high risk of flooding in 2024.

Utsev issued this cautionary statement during the official presentation of the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) in Abuja on Monday.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) leads the annual predictions for AFO, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The states identified include Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Kogi, among others.

Utsev stressed the necessity of taking proactive measures to mitigate potential flood impacts in these areas.

He emphasized the importance of preparedness, early warning systems, and community engagement to minimize damage to lives and property.

The minister highlighted that the high-risk flood areas are expected to be vulnerable from April to November 2024, posing potential threats to population, agriculture, livelihoods, livestock, infrastructure, and the environment.

Utsev recalled Nigeria’s history of recurrent and severe flood disasters, with the catastrophic events of 2012 being one of the most significant recorded occurrences.

“The 2022 floods were particularly catastrophic, being termed the worst in the country’s history in terms of impact magnitude.

“The World Bank estimated the total economic damage from the 2022 floods, including damage to residential and nonresidential buildings, infrastructure, productive sectors, and farmlands, at approximately 6.68 billion dollars.

“In response to the ongoing challenges posed by flooding, President Bola Tinubu initiated the National Economic Council Ad-hoc Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness, and Response,’’ he said.

The minister stated that the committee’s directive was to actively formulate a thorough roadmap designed to improve Nigeria’s flood mitigation, preparedness, adaptation, and communication infrastructure.

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