Flooding: NEMA, Senate raise the alarm, 178 LGs, 32 states at risk

The Senate Wednesday urged the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to revisit the proposed construction of Dasin Hausa Dam and any other dam to take in the flood waters from Lagdo Dam in Cameroun.

The lawmakers’ position came as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) similarly alerted that 14 states and 31 communities may witness heavy rainfall that may lead to flooding from July 4 to 8 across the country.

Senate  

The Senate’s resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion  on “Urgent Need to Intervene in the Flooding Issues in Sagamu, Ijebu areas of Ogun-East  and Edu, Patigi areas of Kwara-North  and other parts of the country,” sponsored by  Senator Gbenga Daniel (APC Ogun East) and Senator Umar Sadiq Suleiman (Kwara North) at plenary.

In his lead debate, Senator Daniel said the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had forecasted that the level of rainfall in 2023 would surpass that of 2022.

According to him, the 2023 annual flood outlook prepared by Nigeria Hydrological Services showed that 178 local government areas in 32 states and the FCT fell within the highly probable flood-prone areas.

He said Lagos, Ogun and Kwara states, in particular, would witness coastal flooding due to tidal lock of Ogun River by Lagos Lagoon from a natural rise in sea level, coupled with possible release of excessive water from the Oyan Dam.

The lawmaker said several communities in Ogun and Kwara states, particularly Owa and ljebu-Ode, Eruwru in Sagamu and Ebute Kimobi in Ijebu East, all in Ogun- East with Edu and Patigi Local Government Areas in Kwara-North, would experience the first flash floods due to heavy rainfall between July and November 2023.

He expressed concern that all over Nigeria, downpours had resulted in destruction and deaths as residents in lsland and Mainland in Lagos state were displaced, as well as business owners and residents in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

He said report indicated death in Enugu due to surge while a 10-year old child was swept away by flood in Delta state.

He also said there were devastating erosion effects at Trademore Estate, Lugbe in Abuja.

He expressed worry that if the impending floods when the rain starts in September to November 2023 were not checkmated through proper planning, there could be danger of huge loss of lives and properties.

In his contribution, Senator Isah Jibrin (APC Kogi East) decried the loss of lives and properties, occasioned by flood, adding that there was need to put in place long lasting measures to mitigate flood in Nigeria.

Jibrin called for construction of dams and dredging to save the lives of Nigerians, just as he also advocated for the relocation of persons living in flood-prone areas, especially in Kogi state.

In her contribution, Senator Ireti Kingibe (LP, FCT) said the issue of flooding is particularly urgent in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and suggested “we should look for permanent solution,” adding that “development control (DC) and people concerned should be held responsible.”

Also, the minority whip, Senator Darlington Neokocha ( Abia Central) said  senators needed to represent their constituents well and strengthen their oversight functions and not to ask what do we do after it has happened, adding “no proper over sighting and we have bad roads, insecurity, etc.”

In his submission, Senator Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North) called on the Senate to “investigate previous appropriation on dredging of Rivers and building of dams in the country.”

Resolutions

Following intensive debates among senators in support of the motion, Senate further urged relevant MDAs to release funds as contained in 2023 budget for dredging of blocked canals and water bodies amongst others.

They also “urged the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to revisit the proposed construction of Dasin Hausa Dam and any other Dams to take in the flood waters from Lagdo Dam in Cameroun.

“Urged National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send relief material to affected victims across the country.

“Urged the Federal Government to proffer lasting solutions to issues of flood in the country.”

…NEMA warns too

Raising similar concerns, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Wednesday said 14 states and 31 communities risk heavy rainfall that may lead to flooding from July 4 to 8 across the country.


NEMA Lagos Territorial Coordinator Ibrahim Farinloye said this in a statement issued in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Farinloye as urging relevant stakeholders within the concerned states to take precautionary measures to forestall the loss of lives and property.

He listed the states and communities as Plateau: Langtang and Shendam; Kano state: Sumaila, Tudun Wada; Sokoto state: Shagari, Goronyo and Silame; Delta: Okwe.

Others include Kaduna state: Kachia; Akwa Ibom: Upenekang; Adamawa: Mubi, Demsa, Song, Mayo-Belwa, Jimeta, and Yola; Katsina state: Katsina, Jibia, Kaita and Bindawa.

He also added Kebbi state: Wara, Yelwa and Gwandu; Zamfara: Shinkafi and Gummi.

Borno: Briyel; Jigawa: Gwaram; Kwara: Jebba; Niger: Mashegu and Kontagora are also included.

Farinloye thanked the Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) Central Hub of the Federal Ministry of Environment Abuja for sharing the information.

Ibadan community raises the alarm

In a related development, the people of Olunloyo, Ariyo, Asolo, Amuloko, Odeyale, Akanran axis of Ona Ara local government area of Ibadan, Oyo state, have raised the alarm of perennial flooding ravaging the community.

Raising the alarm Wednesday following heavy downpour Tuesday night in the community, the residents called on Governor Seyi Makinde to save them from being swept off by the rampaging flood.

According to the residents, the flooding had degenerated into flooding and traffic congestion on the road whenever there is heavy rain with the bridge always overflows by flood anytime it rains, and drivers having problem driving through it until its volume diminishes. 

It was learnt that during the Tuesday night downpour, several residents of the community returning home were subjected to heavy traffic snarls amidst wailing and groaning gridlock with many of them staying on the road till midnight when the flood eventually eased. 

Eye witness account said only those brave enough to trek through the flood when vehicles could not move, waddled through, knee-deep in the water with some good Samaritans assisting the too young and too old people to trek through the thick flood.

According to a resident in the area, Madam Khafilat Ololade, who said she had to alight from a bus and waddle through the river only to stay on the road till around 10.45pm before trekking home.

“If as old as I am, I am still on the road at 10.45 pm and I am still going to a settlement after Odeyale, when do I know I will get home tonight? How emotionally stable can I be to come out tomorrow morning to do my business? This condition is disturbing and it is not good for our health. Our governor should quickly find a palliative solution to this as an engineer that he is. We love him”, the woman in her 60s, said.

Another resident in the community, Boluwaji Adelere, while lamenting the situation, called on Governor Makinde to direct the contractor handling the road to immediately begin palliative on the bridge and also hasten the works on the road to make life more meaningful to residents of the area.

“Governor Makinde is a man of the people, but pending when the bridge is rebuilt, he should, please, not allow casualties to be recorded as it had been during some past administrations,” he said 

“The CEO of Ilaji Hotels and Resorts, Chief Dotun Sanusi, has for many years been responsible for periodic repair of the road. The billionaire businessman has been a great asset to Ibadanland and our immediate communities here in Ona Ara. 

“He has been of immense help; repairing roads and providing communities with electrification projects to make them live better lives. But it appears the philanthropic businessman is tired. If not, he would have effected some repairs on the road again and the deplorable state it is now would have been ameliorated a bit,” Adelere added.

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