Nigerians living in and around the flood-prone areas within the states listed in a recent flood alert issued in Abuja by the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NHSA) have been urged to engage in measures that can mitigate the effects of the flood rather than dwell on the fear of the disaster.
The measures, classified as both long and short term in nature, include sustainable environmental practices, proper waste management and promotion of energy efficiency. This is just as the government agencies are also enjoined to be prepare to handle the emergency situation as the prediction is already coming to pass in some states.
This was stated by the Director General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Mr. AdeniyiKarunwi, speaking through a statement issued from the organisation’s headquarters in Lagos yesterday.
According to Karunwi, proactive measures, not panicking can help to forestall the imminent danger, hence, “we urge Nigerians to as a matter of urgency embark on decongesting and clearing drainages in and around their surrounding and engage in proper waste management by disposing of their wastes in designated dumpsites only.”
He added that the Climate Change Agreement signed on April 22, 2016, in New York, United States of America, to which Nigeria is also a signatory, already prescribed measures that could stem the effects of the Climate Change that are now manifesting in everyday life and it only remains for the public to follow through.
As a long term measure, the statement said, “We implore all , particularly business organisations, to consider cutting down on fossil fuel usage and promoting energy use efficiency in their business operations,”adding that“other activities that will keep the atmospheric temperature below two degrees Celsius should also be made a priority, in line with theClimate Change Agreement.”
The statement said all the aforementioned have already been incorporated into Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the global efforts at urging action aimed at stemming further environmental degradation and unsustainable environmental practices.
Karunwi, therefore, urged the relevant government agencies to be fully prepared to handle the consequent emergency situations in manners that will prevent or minimize losses and that environmental education campaign should be intensified in the flood prone areas and in other parts of the country while relief materials and palliative measures should also be put in place to help the vulnerable.
Benue, Gombe, Kano, Nasarawa, Plateau, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfarastates have already experienced flood as predicted. A similar flood witnessed in the country in 2012 killed 363 persons and 2.1 million others were displaced while damages and losses recorded were put at N2.6tn.
It is recalled that Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have at different times penultimate week alerted the nation of an imminent flood in 33 states of the federation in a matter of weeks from now.