8 ma­jor rivers, trib­u­taries prone to flood in 2016, says Agency

Daily Trust - - ENVIRONMENT -

The Nige­ria Hy­dro­log­i­cal Ser­vices Agency (NIHSA) has warned that floods will likely oc­cur in eight ma­jor rivers and their trib­u­taries in the course of 2016.

The Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of the agency, Dr Moses Beck­ley, gave the warn­ing at the pre­sen­ta­tion of the 2016 An­nual Flood Out­look (AFO) in Abuja on Mon­day.

Beck­ley listed the rivers as Niger, Benue, Sokoto-Rima, Anam­bra-Imo, Cross River, Niger Delta, Ko­madouguYobe, Ogun-Osun and sev­eral other sub­basins of the coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the 2016 AFO is the fourth edi­tion in the se­ries, and is to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion for de­ci­sion and pol­icy mak­ers and stake­hold­ers to pro­mote ad­e­quate pre­pared­ness, mit­i­ga­tion and early warn­ing.

The Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral ex­plained that AFO was aimed at pro­vid­ing re­sponse mea­sures for re­duc­ing flood risks and also to im­prove so­cio-eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties and national de­vel­op­ment.

Beck­ley said that risk ar­eas in the coun­try had been clas­si­fied into: High Risk, Medium Risk and Low Risk Flood ar­eas.

While eval­u­at­ing the pre­vi­ous flood sit­u­a­tions in the coun­try, the of­fi­cial said the 2013, which was the maiden edi­tion of the AFO, recorded about 70 per cent man­i­fes­ta­tion in the con­fi­dence limit tests.

He said that about 63 per cent man­i­fes­ta­tion was recorded for the 2014 edi­tion, while about 55 per cent man­i­fes­ta­tion was recorded in 2015.

“The fall in the de­gree of man­i­fes­ta­tion from 2013 to 2015 is seen as suc­cess story at­trib­uted to positive re­sponse from the gov­ern­ment, stake­hold­ers and ci­ti­zens. This is due to the fore­casts and putting in place mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures for re­duc­tion in the prob­a­bil­ity of flood­ing oc­cur­rence and its im­pacts on the na­tion’s econ­omy,’’ he said.

Beckey, how­ever, noted that is­sues of hy­dro­log­i­cal haz­ards (floods and drought) had in­creas­ingly been ma­jor con­cerns all over the world mainly due to hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties, cli­mate change and ris­ing sea lev­els.

He said that in Nige­ria, drought and de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion had been en­croach­ing on arable lands in the north­ern parts of the coun­try while gully ero­sion and land­slide were noted in the South East.

The di­rec­tor said com­mu­ni­ties in the coastal and river­ine ar­eas were un­der the threat of re­cur­rent coastal flood­ing and salt wa­ter in­tru­sion.

He also said that flood­ing in ur­ban ar­eas had be­come no­tice­able in most ci­ties in the coun­try.

“Nige­ria is blessed with nu­mer­ous rivers and streams, the largest of which are the trans-bound­ary Rivers Niger and Benue.The in­flu­ence of these trans­bound­ary rivers con­trib­ute to flood that is be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced in some parts of the coun­try,” he said.

(NAN)

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