Consider this “as the year of floods”, this observation is reached, based on the report released by NIHSA, because outside Ekiti, Enugu, Katsina, Imo, Abia States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), all other states in Nigeria will experience a devastating flood this year.
In other words, if you live in any of the following states: Zamfara, Yobe, Sokoto, Rivers, Taraba, Plateau, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Niger, Nasarawa, Lagos, Kwara, Kogi, Kebbi, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Gombe, Edo, Ebonyi, Delta, Cross Rivers, Benue, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, and Adamawa, its best you find out if your state government has prepared a flood prevention plan or a flood relieve plan because one way or the other, you will be needing one of the two above plans.
This observation was contained in the 2013 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) for Nigeria presented by the Director General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), John Shamonda after a 3 days programme on flood outlook.
In all the director general explained that 156 Local Government Areas would experience the devastating flood, while other areas might not be affected at all.
“Floods and associated hazards may be inevitable, but they can be minimised and turned into an opportunity to transform society into a higher level of sustainability. This requires pro-activeness and a change of paradigm from emergency management to flood risk management in order to avert a disaster,” he said.
The DG said his agency came to the conclusion of the flood forecast based on the earlier report by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), which led his team to assess flood outlook that came out with the report.
He also said “In the absence of a reliable model adapted for flood forecasting for the country, the committee adopted simple empirical techniques of relating flood factors referenced to 2012 data and flood extent in combination with spatial analysis using our own method to assess the flood outlook for 2013 based on NIMET’s 2013 SRP data.
“The analysis of deviation in annual rainfall and length of season, together with 2012 flow discharges observed at selected stations led to the outlook of greater flooding scenario across the country than occurred in 2012. A digital map of the country showing the spatial extent of flooding to be expected in 2013 is a major output of the assessment.”
Shamonda said the expected areas of worse scenario of river flooding were located in the Komadugu Yobe Basin and the Niger and Benue troughs.
“The peak floods at the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue to the Niger Delta are also expected to be as high as the 2012 floods. The worst scenario are expected in Kogi, Edo, Delta and Anambra States, the Coastal Delta States of Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta and some States in the Southwest such as Ondo, Ogun, and Lagos are expected to have coastal flooding.
“Also flash floods are expected in major urban centres of Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Ibadan among .As part of efforts in cushioning the effect of the flood, the NIHSA boss recommended that the major reservoirs on the Komadugu, Yobe Basin and the Niger and Benue basins should be lowered of storage in May and June in order to accommodate flood water arriving from July.
How our individual state governments and the federal government decides to play it isn’t clear yet, it is only hoped that proactive steps are taken rather than reactive steps, this would help prevent the same scenario that played out last year when we had several local governments almost completely swiped out of the map. It is advised that residents of flood prone area’s relocate for higher lands, residents should avoid flood plains and drainage channels