Flooding: About 20% of Nigeria’s population at risk, says Minister

    Following the spate of catastrophic flooding in some parts of the country in the last two weeks,  the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin has warned that about 20% of the population is at risk from one form of flooding or another.

    He stated this during a presentation at the National Economic Council meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday.
    He said climate change projections have also indicated that there may be greater risk of flooding in the years ahead.
    recall that this week alone, closed to a hundred lives had been lost to flooding. In Katsina state, no fewer than 44 persons were feared dead and scores missing as flood wreaked havoc in 10 communities in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State on Sunday night.

    Also in Abeokuta no fewer than five persons were feared dead and property worth millions of naira destroyed on Friday night, as flood wreaked havoc in some parts of Abeokuta, Ogun capital.

    Jibrin while making his presentation said the occurrence and magnitude of flood continue to increase in Nigeria due to many factors, among which are excessive prolonged rainfalls, siltation of existing streams, human manipulation of drainage basins, undeveloped drainages, poor urban planning and dam collapse, etc.

    He said climate change projections have also indicated that there may be greater risk of flooding in the years ahead.

    The Minister said though natural causes of flood are beyond human control, but human  manipulation/ human induced situation can either be prevented or at least have their impact mitigated.
    He also disclosed that enormous resources towards flood disaster mitigation have been committed by Government at all levels, however the menace continues unabated.

    “There is need for a paradigm shift in the approach to solve the annual negative experience, hence the need for suggestive approaches for an efficient and effective collaboration among stakeholders.”

    He therefore recommended that short time and sustainable way of de-silting major tributaries and canals ahead of the flooding season – this, he said is relatively inexpensive and executable within a short period of time.

    Jibrin also recommended that the set up Federal Project Coordinating Unit comprising officers from the collaborating entities (Federal, States and PCFRR), to be headed by a Director.

    He said project will identify locations for critical actions and realistic cost estimates, and implement the flood prevention, mitigation and preparedness programme.