By Ejike Ejike, Abuja
Stakeholders in disaster management have called for vigilance and caution against what they called black flood in Kogi and other adjoining states towards the end of the year, noting that the water level in Lokoja is still high.
States that faces this risk include states along the river Niger axis such as Kogi, Abia, Anambra, Rivers, Niger, Kebbi and Bayelsa.
Speaking at a workshop on the review and update of national multi-hazard contingency plan Wednesday in Keffi, a representative of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Engr. Ezeh Nze explained that the black flood occur mostly in October to January due to spill of dams from neighbouring countries and if that happens, these states risk flooding.
He however, noted that flood issues in Nigeria are unpredictable and as such, there is the need for continues caution, even as he insisted that the level of water is still not wearisome.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Engr. Mustapha Maihaja said “Natural and human-induced disasters have been on the increase worldwide. Our country Nigeria has confronted with a phenomena increase of disaster occurrences in recent years.
“Annual floods, rainstorm, windstorms, auto crashes, erosion, building collapse, ethno-religious crisis, desertification, land use conflict occasioned by competition between farmers and pastoralists over dwindling land and water resources and communal crisis, militancy, terrorism and insurgency have become recurrent in the country.
“The 2012 floods which destroyed national assets across socio-economic sectors involving high economic losses and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the North East region of Nigeria occasioned by Boko Haram insurgency have remained the most challenging in Nigeria’s recent history. The recent flood disasters in some parts of the country especially Benue, lmo and Lagos states are sad reminder of the 2012 flood deluge.
“These disasters are causing serious population displacement, food insecurity and malnutrition as livelihood sources are severed, epidemics and disruption of supply chain process with serious impacts on the dignity, survival and general human security. The losses to gross domestic product are staggering. The government is doing is best at providing to the needs of the affects people. ”
While appreciating the global efforts towards tackling natural disaster, the DG further “We at NEMA consider our collaboration with UNICEF of high priority and valuable in our concerted efforts to build a culture of Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Community Resilience to disasters in country.
“I am once again delighted by this workshop that has offered us a forum for the cross fertilization and exchange of ideas between the united nation systems, other International non -governmental organizations and the Public / Private Sectors emergency response stakeholders.”