The Federal Government on Sunday advised state governments to take proactive and necessary mitigative measures in addressing forecasts on heavy rainfalls and floodings.
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, gave the advice in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Mrs. Nneka Anibeze, in Abuja.
Umar Farouq said that states to experience heavy rainfall and possible flooding this year include: Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Niger, Kogi, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia, and Rivers.
Others are Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Osun, Kwara, Zamfara, Sokoto, Lagos, Ondo, Bayelsa, Kaduna, Oyo, Ogun, Abia, Kano, Kebbi, and the Federal Capital Territory.
Farouq urged the states to identify high grounds for use as camps, for the evacuation of possible Internally Displaced Persons and to shelter evacuated communities.
She called on them to organize Humanitarian Coordination Fora to prepare all stakeholders for mitigation and response, as well as request for relief materials for a prompt response after the flood.
The minister also sympathized with the people of Kebbi, Bauchi, and Jigawa following the heavy flooding in some areas of the states, which has led to the loss of lives and farmlands including the displacement of many people.
“The recent flood incidences in parts of those states affirm the need for serious and urgent actions to be taken to safeguard lives and property against the predicted flood.
“The 2020 Annual Flood Outlook forecasts that 102 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 28 states will have heavy rainfall, while 275 LGAs in the 36 states of the Federation including Abuja will experience moderate flooding.
“The remaining 397 LGAs fall within the low probable flood risk areas. Unfortunately, the predicted floods have started to occur in many parts of the country, including Bauchi, Kebbi, and Jigawa.
“Therefore, it is imperative to activate all plans and measures against the prediction, as the season moves toward the peak,” she said.
Umar Farouk urged State Emergency Management Agencies, frontline local government authorities, and other response agencies to put in place precautionary actions, by carrying out public enlightenment and ensuring the dredging of river channels and canals.
“Also, ensure the removal of all refuse and weeds from water channels, drainages and all avenues for runoffs, so as to allow free flow of flood,” she said.
Umar Farouq assured the states that the Federal Government through the ministry had taken note of this year’s flood prediction and would continue to work with stakeholders, to mitigate the possible effects of the flooding.