The Director General of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA) Clement Nze, has advised Nigerians and all stakeholders to start preparing for the 2020 flooding season in order to avoid the ‘Fire Brigade Approach’.
NIHSA Director General, Mr. Clement Nze, gave the warning while briefing newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
He said: “We are here to use this medium to inform Nigerians, stakeholders, the state governments in particular and individuals that this is the right time you can prepare for flooding.
“The state government and local government areas should avoid what we call generally the ‘Fire Brigade Approach’ when the rain is already here.
Nze lamented that Nigeria currently doesn’t have enough dams, saying more dams would help to mitigate floods.
He explained that with the increasing global population and the expanding activities of man, flooding would continue to persist, hence the need to control human activities, environmental adjustment and purposefully adopting actions in certain areas that would make adjustment possible.
According to him, “Flooding problem is a global environmental issue which is faced by many countries worldwide, particularly in areas close to low lying terrains and river valleys.
“Over the past years, there have been increasing concerns that human actions and natural catastrophes have been adversely impacting the environment, posing serious ecological and environmental hazards.
“Though flood is a natural environmental phenomenon, it can be greatly accelerated by human-induced activities as it is the case worldwide.
“Some floods may result in major disasters involving structural and erosion damages, disruption of socio-economic activities, loss of lives and properties, displacement of people, destruction of agricultural land and contamination of water and environment in general.”
The director general said this is the appropriate time to construct drainages where they are necessary (but not provided), dredge river channels, clear blocked gutters and drainages, and pull down structures that are within the floodplains and flood paths.
“There is a reasonable time to do that before the rains set in.
According to the 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) made public recently by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), February 24th and June 22nd are the predicted onset of rainfall in the South-south and Northern states respectively, while the respective predicted cessation dates are December 28th and September 26th.
This implies that Nigeria is likely to experience longer period of rainy season in 2020 compared to year 2019,” he added.
NHISA is responsible for monitoring all the major rivers in Nigeria, including the Transboundary Rivers Niger and Benue.
Its mandate, among others, is the provision of information and services required for efficient and sustainable management of the nation’s vast surface and groundwater resources including the security of life, property and water-related hazards such as floods and droughts.