Tuesday, October 3, 2023


FG to states: Take more responsibility for flood response — we’re not out of the woods

FG to states: Take more responsibility for flood response — we’re not out of the woods
October 17
09:07 2022

The federal government has asked flood-prone states to put more effort into mitigating the effects of floods on citizens.

Sadiya Umar Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development, said over 2.5 million people have been affected by the flood in Nigeria.

Farouq, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, on Sunday, said of the figure, 1.3 million are displaced, 2,407 persons are injured, and 603 persons are dead.

She said as part of efforts to tackle the crisis, Nigeria is preparing to meet with the government of Cameroon over the release of water from the Lagdo Dam.


She said about 121,318 houses have been partially damaged, 82,053 totally destroyed; 108,392 hectares of farmlands were partially damaged while 332,327 hectares of farmlands were totally destroyed.

“While we mourn the unfortunate boat mishap in Anambra and other locations, please, we must note that we are not completely out of the woods,” Farouq said.

She said the meteorological agency has warned states like Anambra, Delta, Cross River, and Bayelsa of being at risk of experiencing floods till the end of November.


“So, we are calling on the respective state governments, LGAs, and communities to prepare by evacuating people living on flood plains to high grounds. Provide tents and relief materials, fresh water as well as medical supply for a possible outbreak of water-borne disease,” she said.

Farouq said on February 15, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) released the 2022 seasonal climate prediction informing Nigerians that the rains will be heavier and prolonged.

The minister said on May 12, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIKSA) also released the annual flood outlook.

“NEMA warned of expected floods and advised on mitigating and preparedness actions needed to take to minimize losses and damages,” she said.


“I also briefed the national economic council on September 22, where I outlined preparedness strategies that all state governments should take to mitigate the 2022 floods.

“I have laid this background so that you will appreciate the concern of this ministry, that despite all these efforts, we still appear to have become overwhelmed by the flood when it came.

“However, we must initiate a bilateral discussion with authorities in Cameroon in November on the periodic opening of the Lagdo dam.

“The delegation to Cameroon is to be led by the permanent secretary of the ministry, and the ministry of foreign affairs will be requested to facilitate the meeting.


“There is the need for state governments to invest in flood management and community-based flood early warning systems; hence we call on state governments to take greater responsibility for flood preparedness and response.”


This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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