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NIHSA: Nigeria can benefit from floods if properly managed

NIHSA: Nigeria can benefit from floods if properly managed
September 12
23:20 2021

Clement Nze, director-general of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), says flooding can be of great economic benefit to Nigeria if properly managed.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Saturday, Nze explained that the country can channel floods to the agricultural sector and establishment of hydropower plants.

“Water that is supposed to be a blessing is becoming a curse. Nigeria is tremendously blessed with a huge amount of both surface and groundwater, but the challenge has been the proper management of this resource. Not until we see water as an economic resource, we will continue like this,” he said.

“After each cycle of flooding, the agriculturists will tell you that the nutrients capacity of the soil had highly improved and they experienced bumper harvest. We can convert this flood to economic benefits to our nation.”

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He lamented that inadequate dam systems were responsible for constant flooding in Nigeria.

He said the country has about 400 dams, with less than 200 of them identified as “large dams”.

Nze emphasised the importance of dams, adding that 400 dams are inadequate for the country.

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“There is so much to be done with dams. We have enough water for development of hydropower plants and other economic projects,” the NIHSA boss said.

“We have been advising the state governments to find a way to construct diversion canals by the Rivers Niger and Benue and channel the waters a distance away and develop another city there. It cannot only be a means of flood reduction, but can be used for agriculture and other businesses.”

He advised that blocked drainages and gutters should be cleared, river channels be dredged, while structures within waterways, floodplains and flood paths be pulled down.

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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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