More than 25 million Nigerians, who live in the coastal areas, are at risk of being affected by flood, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned.
NEMA’s Head of Public Relations, Yusha’u Shuaibu, said on Friday in Abuja that the basins of River Niger, River Benue and River Sokoto are the most prone to floods.
Mr. Shuaib said that an assessment, conducted by NEMA and other partner agencies, shows that most of the country’s larger rivers have flood plains that are subject to flooding during the rainy seasons.
Some of the states that are threatened by floods, according to the NEMA spokesman, are Rivers, Niger, Benue, Cross River, Katsina, and Imo.
“The areas that have had severe flooding impacts since the beginning of the rainy season include the coastal areas of Lagos, Ondo, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States,” Mr. Shuaibu said.
He gave factors that favour flooding in the areas to include lack of surface drains, or blockage of existing drains with municipal waste, refuse and eroded soil sediments.
“Nigerian towns are generally characterised by poor drains and are, therefore, prone to flooding; particularly towns like Lagos, Ibadan, Aba, Calabar, Maiduguri and Port Harcourt,’’ he said.
The NEMA spokesman said that his agency has intensified efforts to ensure the protection of people living in the affected areas through advocacy campaigns; to prevent loss of lives and property.
“The agency is warning people of impending danger to their lives and where necessary urging states and local authorities to relocate people in disaster prone areas,’’ Mr. Shuaibu said.