Suleiman Adamu, minister of water resources, on Wednesday, said 30 states and over 100 local government areas categorised as “high flood risk areas” should expect more flooding.
He said the delay in commencement of the rains, the monsoon wind, and the rising sea levels are factors that will further increase floods in states like Lagos, Rivers and Cross River, among others.
“In the coastal areas, including Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar, possible coastal flooding in these places were mentioned in the NlHSA’s flood outlook. However, the case of Lagos State is unique, because it is very low-lying and there is reclamation of wetlands, which ordinarily should be buffers for floods,” the minister said.
“In addition, the rapid urbanisation of the Lagos coastal areas has not been matched with robust drainage provisions as well as adequate seawalls/barriers along the sea stretch.
“It is also important to mention that the monsoon wind (a strong prevailing wind that brings rain), which usually arrives the West African coast around June 22 to September/October, brings in a lot of rain to the land, coupled with the sea rise due to the melting of the glacier in the polar region.
“All these are definitely increasing the amount of water in the low-lying coastal areas of Lagos State. Worthy of note is the fact that the rains did not start early this year, thereby possibly causing long duration torrential downpour and causing unexpected urban/flash floods in areas with non-existing or inadequate drainage systems in the country.”
Adamu advised Nigerians against dumping refuse indiscriminately, especially when it rains while also warning people residing in riverine areas not to construct residential structures on flood plains,
“People must not use this facility as refuse bins, which will block and render the facility useless with the probability of flooding heightened when it rains,” he said.
“Furthermore, people in the riverine areas must not erect residential structures on the flood plains as these areas are an extension of the river space. Unfortunately, people have refused to yield to advice.
“It is therefore suggested that state and local governments should do more to enforce environmental laws/town planning guidelines so as to check such uncontrolled physical development activities.”