Alone tasks Governments, emergency agencies on flood predictions
The Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NIMET, in July 2015, announced that the country was going to witness increased rainfall in parts of it this year. On the 4th of September this year, the Nigeria Hydrological Agency also announced that the country’s neighbours; Cameroun and Niger were going to open their dams in the coming days to let out water from its chambers. All this prognosis therefore point to a likelihood of flooding in the country.
So far, these indicators and warnings have gone largely unheeded and have not elicited any expected significant response or reaction from the relevant authorities in the country; this is despite the far-reaching implications it has for the country.
Effective grassroots sensitization cum enlightenment has not been done to bring this possible impending danger to the knowledge and awareness of rural and community dwellers; neither has contingency measures been put in place to mitigate and/or contain the potential impacts.
Experience from the 2012 flooding in the country and the avoidable catastrophic human and material losses and damages Nigeria suffered which were largely as a result of poor utilization of and response to early warnings should have been strong enough lessons to avoiding re-occurrence.
In the light of this, the flooding predictions must therefore be treated with all the seriousness it deserves; Emergency management bodies as well as the federal and state governments must urgently activate all its relevant information and enlightenment machinery to educate the masses especially those at the grassroots, of the possible flooding and enlighten them accordingly on expected conduct in the event that it occurs as predicted. Proper measures should also be put in place to cater for likely displacements and re-settlement/rehabilitation after the flooding. This would require proper and careful planning which need be done without any further delay.