Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has sought for the urgent relocation of residents of Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger states who are living along river banks to safer places ahead of envisaged flooding.
The Director-General of the Agency, Engr. Clement O. Nze, who sought for the urgent evacuation by the affected state governments during the sensitisation workshop on 2019 flood prediction, prevention, and mitigation in hydrological area 1, comprising Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger states noted that the high-risk flood might occur between July and September 2019.
Nze, represented by a Director Hydrologeophysics Department of the agency, disclosed that eight local government areas in Kebbi State including; Aliero, Argungu, Augie, Bagudo, Birnin-Kebbi, Bunza ,Ngaski and Shanga are prone to flooding this year.
Similarly, he noted that in Sokoto State, Gwadaawa, Goronyo, Isa, Kware, Rabah, Shagari, Bodinga,Tureta,Silami, Dange-Shuni, Wurno,Yabo and Wamako are also flood risk councils, while in Zamfara, Birnin-Magaji, Kiyawa, Bakura, Bungudu, Shinkagi, Gusau, Kaura-Namoda, and Marafun are probably at risk.
He added that in Niger State, Agwara, Magama would also experience the same fate while in Katsina State, Murawa and Katsina would experience flooding.
“We wish to implore the good people of these states and stakeholders to relocate people living along the waterways and those that are having socio-economic activities on the flood plains.
“States and local governments are encouraged to embark on desilting of river channels, canals, and regular clearing of drainage channels to allow for free flow of runoff waters, and strive to construct buffer in their respective constituencies to collects runoff waters.”
Earlier, the guest speaker, Dr. Murtala Abubakar Gada, from the Department of Geography, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, noted that over 70 million people were exposed to flooding globally while 800 million people are living in flood-prone areas in the world.
He added that flooding could be averted if waterways prone to flood are well managed, construction of dams and reservoirs would prevent flooding disasters.