By Omolola Pedro
The Federal Government has disclosed that 32 states, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and 178 local government areas (LGAs) are at risk of heavy flooding in 2023. The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu made this known at the presentation of the General Highlights of the 2023 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), put together by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Adamu also stated that the forecast for 2023 AFO shows that many states across the country were at high risk of flooding.
According to him, 24 LGAs in 35 states of the federation including the FCT, fall within the moderately-probable flood risk areas. The remaining LGAs fall within the probable flood risk areas. The minister stated that the highly-probable flood-risk states include: Adamawa, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, and Ebonyi. Others are: Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ondo Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and the Federal Capital Territory.
He added that the level of flood impact between April and November 2023, is expected to be high in terms of impact on the population, livelihood, infrastructure and environment. According to him, “66 LGAs across the country fall within the highly-probable risk areas in the months of April, May and June, while part of 148 LGAs fall in the months of July, August and September, and part of 100 LGAs in the months of October and November 2023”. He said that a moderate impact level of floods was projected in 41 LGAs within the months of April, May, and June. The minister further noted that 199 LGAs would experience moderate flooding within the months of July, August and September as well 73 LGAs, between the months of October and November 2023.
Adamu revealed that the report showed coastal flooding would occur in Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ogun, River, Ondo, Edo and Lagos State due to the rise in sea level. Also, Adamu said flash and urban floods would take place in major cities like Lagos, Kaduna, Suleja, Gombe, Yola, Lafia, Makurdi, Lokoja, Asaba, Oshogbo Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Ibadan, Abeokuta. Benin City, Bernin Kebbi, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Kano, Ado-Ekiti, Abakaliki, Awka, Nsukka, Owerri and Calabar. The minister, however, urged state governments and stakeholders across the country to utilise the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) report to mitigate and avert loss of lives and property through adequate, coordinated and effective flood early warning and sensitisation, awareness campaigns, improved flood mitigation strategies and enough preparedness for risk reduction.