Predicted floods: Northwest states identify safe areas for relocation, stockpile relief materials,
NNN: Some states in the North West geopolitical zone have started stockpiling relief materials in response to forecasts by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) of the possibility of flooding this rainy season.
A survey by News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano and Katsina, indicated that some state governments have placed their relevant disaster management agencies on high alert.
Also, as part of proactive measures, places to serve as temporary shelters for people displaced by predicted disasters have been identified and are being renovated.
Most respondents attributed the frequency of flooding in urban and rural communities to the unhealthy habit of building structures over waterways, as well as the dumping of waste into sewers.
Already, some states have recorded losses this year, as revealed by the executive secretary of the Kano State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Saleh Jili.
Jili told NAN that around three people were killed and 2,250 homes destroyed as a result of flooding and windstorms in five local government areas in the state this month.
The secretary listed affected local government areas as Rano, Kibiya, Doguwa, Danbatta and Kiru, attributing the calamity to indiscriminate dumping of waste into waterways and sewers.
He therefore urged residents to refrain from such bad practice to avoid the recurrence of such a disaster, just as he promised his agency’s preparedness to respond to emergency situations, dragging people in the process. .
“On June 9, the Agency organized a stakeholder conference to reflect on disaster risk reduction and disaster management.
“We sensitized religious leaders and community leaders in the five emirates on how to deal with the heavy rains predicted by NiMet.
“We have also used the media, markets and other gatherings to educate residents about the need to ensure easy flow of water in their homes,” he said.
For his part, the territorial coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency in Kano, Dr Nuradeen Abdullahi, assured that his agency was ready to respond to any situation, adding that there was enough relief material in stock. .
In his contribution, Dr. Aliyu Barau, a senior lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning at Bayero University in Kano, observed that flooding has become a serious environmental challenge in the country, hence the need to accelerate measures. which would solve the problem.
He said that while there are many causative factors, the blockage of waterways by residents was a major factor, hence the need for a change in attitude.
Kano state environment commissioner Dr Kabiru Getso said the government had embarked on the evacuation of Refuse as part of its “Keep Kano Clean” campaign.
“So far, more than 70,000 linear meters of drains have been de-silted and more than 1,600 strips of silted material have been removed from the drains,” he revealed.
Getso also disclosed that the state submitted the “State Pollution Control Bill” to the state House of Assembly, which passed second reading.
“If passed, the state will have laws criminalizing environmental offenses such as indiscriminate dumping of trash and other forms of environmental pollution,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malam Mohammed Yahaya, Comptroller General of a Kaduna-based non-governmental organization, Safety Awareness and Environmental Support Initiative (SAESI) observed that improper waste disposal was the main cause of flooding in Kaduna metropolis.
Yahaya told NAN in Kaduna that their surveys revealed that some neighborhoods in Kakuri, Kaduna South, Chikun, Kaduna North, Igabi and Kajuru were prone to flooding this season due to excessive pile of garbage in their surroundings.
He said that unless residents embark on the evacuation of the crowded Reduse before the peak of the rainy season this year, there could be disasters that could lead to loss of life and property.
He mentioned that indiscriminate dumping of waste, unlicensed sand dredging and construction of structures on waterways were other causes of flooding in urban areas of the state.
According to him, it has been predicted that some communities in major urban agglomerations like Birnin-Gwari, Kafanchan and Saminaka are most likely to experience flooding as a result of the erection of structures on the waterways.
“As we speak, Brinin-Gwari has already been flooded this year due to improper construction on the waterways.
“As part of my professional vocation, I advise people in areas at risk to move around, and I also urge them to do their best to reduce some piles of waste that have accumulated,” he said. -He underlines.
He called on the state government to step up its sensitization of residents, as well as ensure compliance with the provisions of the construction plans.
Also in Katsina state, Yangora village chief in Daura local government area, Alhaji Bello Shahu, warned his subjects against practices that could trigger flooding.
Shah told NAN that unhealthy practices such as erecting structures over waterways and dumping waste into sewers were the main causes of flooding in most villages or settlements in his domain.
He praised the federal government for building roads and drains, which helped reduce the threat of flooding.
According to him, the construction of these roads saved the communities from the agony of taking refuge in primary schools and other public structures during the rainy season.
“In the past, whenever it rained, especially in the evening, and also on market days, we had difficulty crossing to neighboring villages because of flooding.
“However, with the construction of roads and drains in our communities by the federal government, most of our problems are now solved.
“My appeal to all of us is that we should avoid habits or practices that can cause flooding in our communities as we are now in the rainy season,” he advised.
In his contribution to the survey, Malam Umar Isma’il, a meteorology expert from the Sokoto Urban and Regional Planning Board, identified poor waste management approach and inadequate drainage system as the main causes of flooding in the state.
He also noted that floods in the state were often caused as a result of certain unhealthy practices.
“Our people have the wrong attitude of littering around them and sometimes using the drains around them as trash cans.
“This bad attitude of blocking sewers has continued to increase the risk of flooding in many communities.
“Communities need to be alert and appreciate the dangers of flooding; they should continue to support government policies aimed at controlling the situation,” he said.
Also speaking to NAN on the matter, Mr. David Simon, an environmental analyst at Sokoto, said that most of the factors responsible for flooding in the state were man-made.
“Today, many residential areas have no drains, but rely only on natural channels; again there is unregulated urban sprawl and a bad attitude towards people disposing of waste,” he said.
Simon suggested that to overcome the challenges, the government needs to focus more on post-disaster flood control than response.
“Reducing and addressing exposure to flood risk should be the government’s priority to overcome man-made causes of flooding.
“It will reinforce our journey towards sustainable development and our desire for economic growth,” he said.
In Kebbi, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has advised chairpersons of local government areas whose communities are located in flood-prone locations to be prepared for possible challenges.
The agency’s executive director, Alhaji Abbas Kamba, who gave the advice, urged the presidents to come up with policies that would help meet the challenge.
Kamba said his agency stockpiled an assortment of relief materials following receipt of an early warning from NIMET that Kebbi was among states to witness a possible flood in 2022.
“Upon receipt of the NIMET 2022 seasonal climate forecast on the possibility of flooding in the country, SEMA began to act by organizing a series of meetings with stakeholders to develop modalities and strategies to mitigate the impact of the predicted flood.
“The state and 21 local government councils, in conjunction with the state Department of Education, have identified higher ground and schools for eventual relocation of all affected people to flood-prone areas.
“We have repositioned the search and rescue team from the State Fire Department.
“We also stocked various food and non-food relief materials, as well as provided the necessary logistics for an active response in the areas,” he said.
Kamba added that the Agency has sensitized residents to adopt a positive attitude as part of efforts to mitigate the challenge.
“We have drawn the attention of local government councils and the State Urban Development Authority (KUDA) to the need to modify settlements and erect flood barriers to withstand flooding,” said he declared.
The director urged the state government to consider the channeling and de-silting of major rivers in the state, to allow the free flow of water.
For his part, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Hassan Muhammad, has urged local government councils across the state to start stockpiling relief materials as a proactive measure.
He said it was safer to prepare in advance, rather than waiting for disaster to strike before taking action.
NAN reports that the local government areas likely to be affected in the state, as listed by the authorities, are Birnin Kebbi, Ngaski, Yauri, Argungu, Dandi, Bagudo, Bunza, Augie, Shanga and Zuru LG.