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Flooding Menace in Nigeria

Flooding Menace in Nigeria

Many states in the country in the recent time have witnessed the fury of nature through flooding.  Some lives were reportedly lost with thousands of people displaced.  In Ondo State, Idanre, Ayetoro, Ogbese, Akure, Ile-Oluji were the worst hit communities by the disaster.

IN Ogbese and Uso alone, rice farms of over 6000 hectares were swept off while in Idanre residential buildings, hotels and other valuable household materials were  washed away.

EARLIER this year, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA, had warned that flood was imminent in many states in the country and specifically listed twelve states to experience flooding  due to torrential rainfalls.

THE states include Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Kogi, Benue, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Niger and Cross River.  In spite of the level of preparedness of these states to combact flooding, the menace unfortunately still manifested in several areas in those states as foretold.

IT is on this backdrop that the governments in the affected states have gone back to the drawing board clearing blocked sewage system as the rain seems to be reaching the peak.

IT was observed that flooding has become inevitable in many areas because people now build houses on river banks.

MANY of the houses were approved and certified by government officials.  This we believe happened when money have exchanged hands.  The Hope notes instances when such structures earlier marked red and tagged with “Unregistered plan” and expected to be demolished only to be seen later dotting the streets.  Many people also use the slightest signs of raindrops to rush and drop their wastes.  This block river courses downstream and thus create problems for some people elsewhere.

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STILL, some think they can easily cheat nature with our money luring government officials to approve buildings, even though we know that the expected distance away from streams were not respected.  Our agricultural cultural practices do not help our flood-prevention schemes, as some farmers just cultivate their farms without seeking agricultural extension experts who can advise them properly. Illegal dredging for sands, especially in residential areas by those looking for cheap money, should be discouraged.

THE HOPE notes that Nigerians need to change their attitude toward safeguarding the environment by avoiding practises which encourage flooding.  Besides, government officials found to be culpable of approving erection of structures in wrong places should be seriously dealt with.  Even if in retirement, they should be invited, tried and sanctioned to serve as deterrent to others.

Owners of structures that block river courses should also be punished after having such structures demolished. Government should resuscitate the sanitary inspectors of the past to ensure neighbourhoods have adequate provisions for proper waste disposals.

FARMERS should imbibe best agricultural practices. They should cultivate their farms in such a way that it will not unnecessarily encourage the speed of erosion. Bush burning that will end up leaving the land too bare  should be discouraged.  Our people should stop taunting nature by choosing to erect buildings without considering the laid-down directives as regards the distance that houses should be from the nearest streams.

THE HOPE opines that all Nigerians should rededicate themselves towards making our environment safer and better by following laid-down guidelines and procedures so as to avoid flood disasters in our environments.

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