From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) has warned Nigerians that there is still about three more months to prepare against the disastrous effects of floods instead of waiting until it can’t be controlled.
According to the 2021 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) recently released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the earliest onset date is March 1st along the coastline of the country, while the lastest onset date is June 29 in the northernmost part of the country. The earliest cessation date for rainfall would be around October 9 in Katsina and northern Sokoto, while the latest cessation date is expected on December 25 over the Niger Delta region.
NIHSA Director-General Clement Onyeaso gave the advice at the agency’s maiden press conference in Abuja, on Wednesday.
According to him, the raining season is fast approaching and the remaining days of the dry season are the best time to prepare against flooding so as to avoid past reoccurrence.
He added that floods are caused by high-intensity rainfall of long duration, inadequate drainage of low lying areas, silted channels, urbanisation and severe winds over water, unusually high tides, tsunamis, failure of dams, levees, retention ponds, or other structures that contain the water.
Onyeaso insisted that relevant authorities frustrating the efforts of the federal government by neglecting the predictions made by the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), as could be seen in the results of the last year’s damages.
‘There is still time for state and local governments to take the necessary steps or minimise the disastrous effects of flood in the year 2021. Nigeria’s geographical location downstream of all the countries in the Basin places, so, it is at the receiving end of disastrous flood and pollutions from all the countries upstream,’ he said.
‘The persistent flooding and flood disasters have become an annual event in Nigeria since 2012 when the country experienced its worst flood disaster in recent history. It could be recalled that hundreds of lives were lost, thousands of citizens rendered homeless with property losses running into trillions of naira.’
He called on the state and local governments, stakeholders,multi-national companies, public-spirited individuals and philanthropists to take measures to prevent the ugly flooding menace instead of waiting to rehabilitate victims.