2024 flood forecast: 148 LGs in 31 states, 249 others, FCT at risk – FG

The 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (APO) indicated there would be high flood risk between the months of April and November this year.

According to the report, 148 local government areas (LGAs) in 31 States of the Federation are in High Flood Risk Areas of flood, while part of 249 LGAs in 36 States of the Federation and the FCT fall within the Moderate Flood Risk Areas.

Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation Professor Joseph Terlumun Utsev announced this in a presentation during a media parley in Abuja Tuesday.

He said “the report shows that the states in high risk includes Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe.”

Speaking further, the minister said: “The level of floods in this high risk category is expected to be high in terms of impact on the population, agriculture, livelihoods, livestock and infrastructure, and the environment.

“Part of 72 LGAs across the country fall within the High Flood Risk areas in the months of April, May and June; while part of 135 LGAs in the months of July, August and September; and part of 44 LGAs in the months of October and November, 2024 are within the High Flood Risk zones. The details of the LGAs and their corresponding States are contained in the AFO publication.

“Moderate impact level floods are expected in parts of 63 LGAs within the months of April, May and June; and in parts of 221 LGAs within the months of July, August and September; and parts of 100 LGAs within the months of October and November, 2024.

“Flash and urban flood will be experienced in urban city centres across the country. Among these are Abakaliki, Abeokuta, Abuja, Asaba, Benin City, Birnin–Kebbi, Calabar, Ibadan, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Makurdi, Nguru, Onitsha, Oshogbo, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Warri and Yola.

“On Coastal and Riverine Flooding, we have Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Lagos, Ogun, Rivers and Ondo, which are to experience coastal flooding due to rise in sea level and tidal surge and this would impact on fishing, wildlife habitation and river navigation,” he said.

To give the 2024 AFO report the required attention, the minister said he had notified all the state governors on the level of flooding to expect in their respective states.

He said letters and AFO publications (with maps) had also  been dispatched to the governors, while the exact LGAs to be affected in each state and the expected level of flood are detailed out accordingly.

He said: “I, therefore, appeal to the State Governors to give the information in AFO the attention it requires and to act swiftly to contain effects of any flooding incidence so as to forestall any chaotic situation.

“To the stakeholders, decision and policy makers, relevant federal and state government departments and agencies, I implore you to take note of the information contained in this 2024 AFO and prepare in advance.

“While the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) is doing her best to carry out aggressive sensitisation and awareness campaigns, we must all join hands to keep clean our environment, waterways (i.e. drainages, gutters, etc.) and flood paths, and maintain proper refuse disposal and waste management practices to reduce incidence of flooding.

“I have the strong view that the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) will serve as a veritable tool for effective strategic planning to avert loss of lives and property through adequate, coordinated and effective flood early warning and sensitization, awareness campaigns, improved flood mitigation strategies and preparedness for risk reduction by all stakeholders.”