BY SOLOMON AYADO and AHURAKA ISAH,
The Senate has urged States and other relevant stakeholders in the country to take proactive measures to avert flood disasters that kill and destroy property.
Senate said there is urgent need for state governments to work with town planners to identify areas that are at risk for flooding and to immediately put in place both sensitization and punitive measures to ensure that people are not blocking the drainages.
Senate President Bukola Saraki made the request in Abuja, in a message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu. He said recent reports indicates that as many as 30 of Nigeria’s 36 States are at risk for flooding due to inadequate town-planning, construction oversights and obstructed drainage systems.
According to him, “We have to take this issue of flooding very seriously,” the President of the Senate said, “God has blessed Nigeria in so many ways. We are not like many other nations that experience cataclysmic natural disasters that leave considerable destruction.
Saraki noted that issue of flooding is something if proper planning and proactive steps are taken, can minimize and mitigate against the loss of lives and damage to property.
“What we need to do is for all stakeholders — by this I mean governments across all levels, town planning councils and our emergency management agencies — to meet to discuss how we can put in place long-term strategies to stop these floods so that we can end this fire-brigade approach of dealing with crisis situation.
“Right now, we cannot leave any stone unturned. We must immediately look into our own man-made structures. We have to identify which of our dams and other infrastructure are contributing to the frequency of flood and work out strategies to tone down their negative impact.
“The Senate, through our oversight powers, will continue to work to ensure that our town planning laws are updated, and we will continue to support the executive in every way possible to enforce the codes and ensure that states that are at risk do not turn into disaster zones,’ Saraki stated.