Flood, Landslide Kill 77 People In Vietnam

Flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain in Vietnam’s northern and central regions since last week has killed 77 people, Vietnam’s Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said on Thursday. It said that the flood and landslide also left 26 local people missing, and injured 38 others.

 

“The 77 fatalities included 26 people in northern Hoa Binh province, 17 in northern Yen Bai province and 16 in central Thanh Hoa province.

 

“Others are nine people in central Nghe province, six in northern Son La province, two in Hanoi capital and one in central Quang Tri province.

“In the coming days, flash floods and landslides are forecast to hit mountainous areas in Vietnam’s central highlands regions,” said the committee.

 

It said that in Hoa Binh’s Tan Lac district, where a landslide buried 18 people, including infants from four families, all the 18 bodies had been found.

“Since mid-June, flash floods and landslides have killed or left missing 148 Vietnamese people, and caused property losses of over 3,000 billion Vietnamese dong,’’ the committee said

Flood Control And Aregbesola’s Proactive Steps In Osun

Over the years, flood in Nigeria has pushed rivers over their banks and submerged hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. In just over five years, floods had forced 1.3 million people out of their homes and claimed 431 lives, according to Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The River Niger and Benue used to be thin rivers flowing through braided channels, with isolated water bodies dotting the floodplains. Years later, both rivers had burst their banks, engulfing the small lakes and ponds, the Niger River had ballooned into a sprawling temporary lake. The reasons for that included carelessness and negligence by government.

Flash floods are common in Nigeria in rainy seasons (May-September) and many parts of the country have witnessed the fair share in the hazards caused by flood over the years. The Nigerian Red Cross reported that about 120,000 people had been left homeless. Thousands of displaced residents had to flee displaced camps and seek temporary shelters, as floods had even overwhelmed fire brigade efforts of governments in the affected states.

Besides destroying buildings and lives, floods have the devastating ability to ravage crops and destroy transportation routes of any community that are unlucky to have its unwanted visit.

Residents of Osogbo, especially people around Rasco area of Oke-fia would not easily forget the devastating 2015 flood. The flood which was caused by over 12 hours heavy rainfall, wrecked havoc on the state capital.  Buildings were submerged; precious lives were lost, while properties worth millions of naira were also washed away by the devastating flood of that year. The Rasco area of Oke-fia is an area in Osogbo which has always been prone to flooding over the years, due to construction of houses on erosion path, on streams, and blockage of drainages in total disregard to environmental laws. This is the case in some parts of Osogbo. The Rasco bridge which was built many years ago has over time become too small to contain the volume of water flowing during rainy seasons. Rasco is a commercial area where complex, shops and kiosk are located, hence, annual flood occurrences in the area have resulted to loss of properties.

However, relief came to the people of the area when the present administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola which has demonstrated his commitment to the prevention of flood and erosion control embarked on dredging of streams and rivers channels across the state. The move to address the fear of flood in Rasco area started recently. The Rasco flood control project started with separation of buildings and shops that were built on waterways and those that were very close to the river. The separation cost the government millions of naira.

During the exercise, it was discovered that the cause of flood in the area was because the original path for the water had become too narrow to contain the water whose volume has risen over the years. Seeing the need to expand the waterways, the government embarked on the dredging of the river to clear the debris preventing the free flow of water. A reinforced retainer and concrete chanelisation of about 12meters wide and 2.5meters high was made to have a smooth control and flow of the river.

Significantly, a much bigger bridge which corresponds with the wider range of the water path to control the huge volume of water, a triple cell bus culvert with each of the cell constructed to a specification of 2.5 meters wide and 3 meters high was put in place to guide against a situation where the flood overflows to the road. The bridge which has been under construction for about four months has now been completed and opened for use. While the bridge was majorly reconstructed to be able to accommodate the high volume of water that pass under it, the state government also thought it wise to construct the bridge to meet world standard as the road over the bridge has now been reconstructed with pave stones to add beauty to the area.

Residents of Rasco area around Oke-fia in Osogbo are full of praises to Aregbesola for coming to their rescue as they can now sleep with their two eyes closed without the fear of their properties being swept away by flood.

When Aregbesola’s administration came into existence in 2010, one of its first areas of intervention after the recruitment of 20,000 youths through the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O’YES) was flood and erosion control. Osun had witnessed terrible devastating flood before Aregbesola’s emergence. The havoc wrecked on the citizens of Osun in 2009 and 2010 by floods is such that cannot be forgotten in a hurry because it left a lot of homes and families in pains and sorrows which many of them are yet to recover from.  There has been persistent flooding in the state during the rainy seasons, with instances of losses of lives, properties and houses being submerged. But Aregbesola’s administration took the bull by the horn and the state tackled the flood headlong.

The Aregbesola administration immediately took it as a point of duty to do everything possible to protect the people from flooding as millions of naira was released between 2011 and 2012 for the dredging of streams and notorious rivers which had over the years caused flooding in the state. For the past seven years, the administration has not looked back in the determination to avoid flooding in Osun, as rivers and streams such as the Okookoo and Ogbagba streams in Osogbo has never been left untouched on a yearly basis. Streams and rivers in Ikire, Ikirun, Iwo, Ile-Ife, Ode-Omu, Ilesa and other towns in the state are also not left out in the scheme of things. There is virtually no stream or river in the state which the dredging machine of Aregbesola has not touched in the bid to ensure that the state does not have to start spending billions of naira into the provision of make shift shelters, buying of relief materials and the ugly situation of having to coping with a food crisis.

For a state that is prone to flooding because of the many rivers and streams that it has, it will not be out of place for the state government to always put the issue of dredging of waterways on the front burner, just as the Aregbesola administration is doing. It is gratifying to know that the effort of the state government is paying off.

Running into about 75 kilometres, the water ways which the Aregbesola dredging machines work on, annually include; Esimirin, Agbara, Opa, Gbalefefe, Ogboku, Osun streams in Ile-Ife and Modakeke-Ife axis. We also have the Opopo, Ogbun, Amino, Akeri in Ila-Orangun. In Ilesa axis there is the Omiru, Olutokun and the Adeti streams. The Mogimogi and Aiba rivers in Apomu and Iwo respectively are also not left out.  A number of stream and rivers of not less than 30 kilometers in towns like Ipetu-Ijesa, Ejigbo, Yakooyo, Ipetumodu, Asipa, Ikirun, Iragbiji, Ede and Igbajo are also being dredged on an annual basis to avoid flooding.

At the beginning of every year, meteorologists have always done their job of predicting and at the same time warning the people and government of the amount of rainfall that would be witnessed in any particular area. But it is so unfortunate that most state governors in the country always resort to the fire brigade approach of doing things. The floods would have already wrecked its havoc and ravaged homes and farmlands before the government begins to act. Many state governments in the country believe in spending huge amount of money on relief materials instead of spending lesser amount of money preventing flood.

The United Nations Integrated Regional Information Networks reported that farmers lose a lot during floods, and it is common knowledge that inadequacy of food is a crisis on its own. Nigeria as a country is going through the most difficult time in history as a result of fall in the prices of crude oil in the global market. The country and all state governors are trying to look inwards for a way out, with the diversification into agriculture identified as the only viable way out.

Going by that, Aregbesola’s administration needs to be commended, for spending billions of naira on dredging of waterways to avoid flooding which devastating effect, among others, is the sack of farmers from their farmlands. When flooding occurs, crops are washed away, fish ponds are swept off and people count their losses in millions of naira. The effect of this is shortage of food which leads to hunger and insecurity.

A trader in one of the shops close to the “Rasco bridge” in Osogbo, Mr Orim Nwachukwu while recounting his experiences about the past flooding incidents in the area said, it used to be difficult and horrible for the people in the area during the rainy seasons as they always had to leave their houses to other places for fear of being swept away by flood.

He said, “Where do I start from? It used to be a very terrible experience. Once the rain starts around May/June and it begins to come thick and fast, we don’t have a choice than to pack out of our shops or else our properties will be swept off by flood”.

It is now the responsibilities of we citizens to ensure that waterways are kept clean and free by not dumping refuse on streams and rivers. By doing this, we would have gone a long way in complementing government’s efforts in ensuring that the state of the virtuous is flood free.

Flood: 3,000 Farmlands Destroyed, Twelve Communities Affected In Cross River

A heavy downpour that lasted for two days has affected twelve communities in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River while more than 3,000 farmlands were equally destroyed.

Mr. John Inaku, the Director General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), told the News Agency of nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, during an inspection of the affected areas that the economic survival of residents of the submerged communities had been seriously affected.

Inaku stated that more than 1,000 people have been displaced and are taking refuge in nearby communities. According to him, the state government has promised to address the plight of the people.

Some of the communities affected are Bago, Unu, Bagabo, Bakie, Bufua, and Kakwe-Beebo.

“The deluge of September 18 and 19 has caused massive flooding in 12 communities in Cross River. Properties worth millions of naira were equally destroyed in the process. The flood also destroyed farmlands; crops such as banana, cassava, plantain, yam, cocoa and others were affected while some bridges were washed away.

“The worst aspect of the flood is that it also destroyed streams, which served as the only source of drinking water for the people, while the main access road was washed away as a result of landslide,’’ he said.

One of the victims, Mr. Bette Obi, chairman of Cross River Forestry Commission, told NAN that the flood had wreaked serious havoc on residents of the area.

Obi, who said his cocoa and plantain farms were destroyed by the flood, appealed to the state and Federal Government to come to their aid.

“As we speak, our farmlands have been washed away by flood. The streams where we fetch water for drinking has been polluted. We urgently need government’s assistance in our communities to ameliorate our plights,’’ Obi said.

Another victim, Mr. Gabriel Ofre, traditional ruler of Bago community, said the flood had displaced his entire household, and that his property and other vital materials destroyed as well.

Ofre appealed to SEMA and NEMA to come to their aid, saying that residents of the area were peasant farmers, who lived on the meager earnings from their farm produce.

Flood Control And Aregbesola’s Proactive Steps In Osun

By Kingsley Omoyeni

Over the years, flood in Nigeria has pushed rivers over their banks and submerged hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. In just over five years, floods had forced 1.3 million people from their homes and claimed 431 lives, according to Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency.

The river Niger and Benue used to be thin rivers flowing through braided channels, with isolated water bodies dotting the floodplains. Years later, both rivers had burst their banks, engulfing the small lakes and ponds, the Niger River had ballooned into a sprawling temporary lake. The reasons for that included carelessness and negligence by government.

Flash floods are common in Nigeria in the rainy season (May-September), some parts of Nigeria have witnessed the fair share in the hazards caused by flood over the years. The Nigerian Red Cross reported that about 120,000 people had been left homeless. Thousands of displaced residents had to flee temporary shelters as the floods also overwhelmed fire brigade efforts of governments in affected states.

Besides destroying buildings and lives, floods have the devastating ability to ravage crops and destroy transportation routes of any community that are unlucky to have the unwanted visit of flood.

Residents of Osogbo, especially people around Rasco area of Oke-fia cannot easily forget the devastating 2015 flood. The flood which was caused by over 12 hours heavy rainfall, wrecked havoc on the state capital. Buildings were submerged; precious lives were lost, while properties worth millions of naira were also washed away by the devastating flood of that particular year. The Rasco area of Oke-fia is an area in Osogbo which has always been prone to flooding over the years, due to construction of houses on erosion path, on streams, blockage of drainages and total disregard to the environmental laws. This is the case in some parts of Osogbo. The rasco bridge which was built many years ago has over the time become too small and not large enough to contain the volume of water following during the raining season. The annual flood occurrence in the area has resulted to loss of properties; it is a commercial area where complex, shops and containers are located.

However, relief came to the people of the area when the present administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who has demonstrated his commitment to prevention of flood and erosion control in his first term by embarking on dredging of streams and rivers across the state, made move to address the Rasco flood. The Rasco flood control project started with separation of buildings and shops that were built on waterways and those that were very close to the river. The separation cost the government millions of naira.

During the exercise, it was discovered that the cause of flood in the area was because the original path for the water had become too narrow to contain the water whose volume has risen over the years. There was need to expand the waterways, the rasco river was subsequently dredged to clear the debris preventing the free flow of water. A reinforced retainer and concrete chanelisation of about 12meters wide and 2.5meters high was made to have a smooth control and flow of the river.

Significantly, a much bigger bridge which corresponds with the wider range of the water path to control the huge volume of water, a triple cell bus Culvert with each of the cell constructed to a specification of 2.5 meters wide and 3 meters high was put in place to guide against a situation where the flood overflows to the road. The bridge which has been under construction for about four months has now been completed and opened for use. While the bridge was majorly reconstructed to be able to accommodate the now high volume of water that pass under it, the state government also thought it wise to construct the bridge to meet world standard as the road over the bridge has now been reconstructed with pave stones to add beauty to the area.

Residents of Rasco area around Oke-fia in Osogbo are full of praises to Aregbesola for coming to their rescue as they can now sleep with their two eyes closed without the fear of their properties being swept away by flood.

When Aregbesola’s administration came into existence in 2010, one of its first areas of intervention after the recruitment of 20,000 youths through the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O’YES) was t flood and erosion control. Osun had witnessed terrible devastating flood before Aregbesola’s emergence. The havoc wrecked on the citizens of Osun in 2009 and 2010 by floods is such that cannot be forgotten in a hurry because it left a lot of homes and families in pains and sorrows which many of them are yet to recover from. There has been persistent flooding in the state during the rainy seasons, with instances of loss of life and houses being submerged. But Aregbesola’s administration took the bull by the horn and the state summoned the flood phenomenon.

The Aregbesola administration immediately took it as point of duty to do everything possible to protect the people from flooding as millions of naira was released between 2011 and 2012 for the dredging of streams and notorious rivers which had over the years caused flooding in the state. For the past seven years, the Aregbesola administration has not looked back in the determination to avoid flooding in Osun as rivers and streams such as the Okookoo and Ogbagba streams in Osogbo has never been left untouched on a yearly basis. Streams and rivers in other towns such as Ikire, Ikirun, Iwo, Ile-Ife, Ode-Omu, Ilesa and other towns in the state are also not left out in the scheme of things. There is virtually no stream or river in the state which the dredging machine of Aregbesola has not touched in the bid to ensure that the state does not have to start spending billions of naira into the provision of make shift shelters, buying of relief materials and the ugly situation of having to coping with a food crisis.

For a state that is prone to flooding because of the many rivers and streams that it has, it will not be out of place for the state government to always put the issue of dredging the water ways on the front burner, just as the Aregbesola administration is doing and it is gratifying to know that the efforts of the state government is paying off.

Running into about 75 kilometers, the water ways which the Aregbesola dredging machines work on annually include; Esimirin, Agbara, Opa, Gbalefefe, Ogboku, Osun streams in Ile-Ife and Modakeke-Ife axis. We also have the Opopo, Ogbun, Amino, Akeri in Ila-Orangun. In Ilesa axis there is the Omiru, Olutokun and the Adeti streams. The Mogimogi and Aiba rivers in Apomu and Iwo respectively are also not left out. A number of stream and rivers of not less than 30 kilometers in towns like Ipetu-Ijesa, Ejigbo, Yakooyo, Ipetumodu, Asipa, Ikirun, Iragbiji, Ede and Igbajo are also being dredged on an annual basis to avoid flooding.

At the beginning of every year, meteorologists have always done their job of predicting and at the same time warning the people and government of the amount of rainfall that will be witnessed in any particular area. But it is so unfortunate that most state governors in the country always resort to the fire brigade approach of doing things. The floods would have already wrecked its harvock and ravaged homes and farmlands before the government begin to act. Many state governments in the country believe in spending huge amount of money on relief materials instead of spending lesser amount of money preventing flood.

The United Nations Integrated Regional Information Networks reported that farmers lose a lot during floods, and it is common knowledge that inadequacy of food is a crisis on its own. Nigeria as country is going through the most difficult time in history as a result of fall in the prices of crude oil in the global market. The country and all state governors are trying to look inwards for a way out, the only viable way out is to diversify into agriculture.

Going by that, Aregbesola’s administration needs to be commended given a huge path on the back for spending billions of naira into dredging of water ways to avoiding flooding whose devastating effect among others is the sacking of farmers from their farmlands and destroying valuable crops in its wake. When flooding occurs, farmlands are washed away, fish ponds are swept off and people count their losses in millions of naira. The effect of this is shortage of food which leads to hunger and insecurity.

A trader in one of the shops close to the “Rasco bridge” in Osogbo, Mr Orim Nwachukwu while recounting his experiences about the past flooding incidents of the area said it used to be difficult and horrible for the people in the area during the rainy seasons as they always had to leave their houses to other places for fear of being swept away by flood.

He said, “Where do I start from? It used to be a very terrible experience. Once the rain starts around May/June and it begins to come thick and fast, we don’t have a choice than to pack out of our shops or else our properties will be swept off by flood”.

It is now the responsibilities of citizens to ensure that water ways are kept clean and free by not dumping refuse on streams and rivers. By doing this, they would have gone a long way in complementing government’s efforts in ensuring that the state of the virtuous is flood free.

Dangote Approves N250m Relief Assistance To Benue Flood Victims

Chairman, National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, says he has provided N250 million as relief assistance to victims of the devastating flood in Benue State.

Dangote said on Sunday in Lagos that this was in response to the request by the Benue State Government.

He said that the committee had also approved the release of one of its completed IDP Hostels in the state as a temporary shelter for some of the displaced people.

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan had on Oct. 11, 2012, inaugurated the Dangote-led 34-member National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation.

The committee was charged with raising additional funds to support the government’s efforts to provide adequate relief and post-impact rehabilitation to persons and communities affected by floods in the country.

Dangote said the State Emergency Management Agency had disclosed that more than 110,000 people in 24 communities, including Makurdi, were displaced by the recent flood in Benue.

The committee chairman said that asides the donation to Benue, his committee had also donated N150 million to provide relief assistance to flood victims in Anambra,

Dangote, in a statement by Mr. Sunday Esan of the Corporate Communication Department of Dangote Group, said that the committee had also released N118 million to the National Emergency Management Agency.

He said that this was to augment the N1.6 billion released by the Federal Government for procurement of food and non-food relief materials in aid of flood victims in 16 states.

According to him, the states are Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Abuja FCT, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, and Sokoto.

He said that the committee was currently implementing the various projects in the 24 states affected by the 2012 nationwide floods.

Dangote said that the rationale behind the projects was to assist the benefiting states to better handle future emergencies, including flooding.

 

Flood Renders Thousands Homeless In Makurdi

All through the year, floods have rendered thousands dead, homeless and missing all over the world. Sierra Leone is still in state of mourning their over 500 citizens killed from flood and mud slides in the Country. Yesterday the heavy downpour that lasted for house caused a major flood in makurdi the Benue State capital, which left hundreds of settlements, houses and markets submerged.

The downpour, which started around 12midnight, lasted for more than four hours. Some of the areas worst hit by the development include Idye village along Zone 4, police headquarters, Radio Benue settlement, Pleasure Travels Coy Limited, Wurukum Market, Wadata Rice Mill area, Gyado Villa on Gboko road, Welfare Quarters, Benue State University community, New Kanshio village, among others.

According to reports the transmitter of the state’s radio station was submerged in water. At Wurukum market and Pleasure Travel garage, the situation was not different, as shop owners were seen helplessly trying to push water out of their apartments to no avail. It was the same development at Wadata rice mill, where rice stored in many shops, were seen soaked and floating on water. At Idye village, almost the entire community was submerged into the flood.

Recall that On July 21, the people of Akpehe near Makurdi confirmed flash flooding, with the growing water level from River Benue, the biggest reason to flooding in Benue.

 

Heavy Rains Render Many Homeless in Benue

Following about four hours of heavy downpour from late Saturday night to the wee hours of Sunday morning, many areas in Makurdi, the capital of Benue State have been left flooded. This includes Atusa, parts of Wadatta, Zone 4, Gana and Nyima.

Punch reports that A staff of the state house of assembly, Mr Tikili Simon said that some of the flooded areas from Zone 4 to Atusa and Gana were mostly affected because of lack of drainage.

According to him, ‘if you move from here to Atusa and the FADAMA area in Nyima which links Gana down to rail track along Barracks road, they are not conducive because there are no drainages’.

“All these places like Gana and Atusa are developing areas within 16 Kilometer radius, so government should do something to make these places habitable”.

Other representatives of the State for environmental issues have also laid the blame on lack of proper drainage channels.

At Least 220 Dead In India, Bangladesh

Just as Sierra Leone mourns over 200 citizens that lost their lives to mudslides in Freetown, India is also counting bodies of citizens that have lost their lives to flood . At least 221 people have died and more than 1.5 million been displaced by monsoon flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh, officials said Tuesday, as rescuers scoured submerged villages for the missing.

In Nepal, severe flooding has left tens of thousands of homes totally underwater in the populous southern lowlands, with nearly 20 percent of the population affected.

“As per the data we have received so far, 111 have been killed, 35 are still missing and a search operation is underway,” Home Minister Janardan Sharma told parliament Tuesday.

A third of neighbouring Bangladesh is flooded, with at least 29 dead as relentless monsoon rains pound the densely-populated riverine country.

“Another 1.5 million people have been marooned,” Reaz Ahmed, head of Bangladesh’s disaster management department told AFP.

Almost 1,200 shelters have been erected across Bangladesh, while the army has been deployed to reinforce weakened river embankments and to assist with search and rescue operations.

In the border district of Lalmonirhat, roughly 600 Indian nationals took shelter in Bangladeshi villages along with their stricken livestock, the district’s government administrator Shafiul Atif told AFP.

Recall that just recently India had suffered from torrential downpours and flash flooding which had also claimed lives.

Flood Kills 143 In India

Three days of heavy downpours lead to flash floods and landslides that has left 70 dead in Nepal and 73 across northern and eastern India. According to news reports at least 143 people have died and thousands have fled their homes as monsoon floods swept across Nepal and India, officials said Monday, warning the toll could rise as the extent of the damage becomes clear.

 

Around 200,000 are already living in emergency camps in Assam in northeast India, which suffers frequent flooding during the annual monsoon rains.

Another 15,000 have had to leave their homes in the eastern state of Bihar, which borders Nepal and where one official said seven rivers in Bihar were at danger levels.

Huge swathes of the state were submerged in 2008 when a river burst its banks across the border in Nepal, with the two countries trading blame for the disaster.

A massive landslide in the mountainous northern state of Himachal Pradesh swept two passenger buses off a hillside and into a deep gorge, killing at least 46 people on Sunday.

In Nepal, over 48,000 homes have been totally submerged by the floods and 21,000 people displaced, according to police.

As emergency workers struggled to reach far-flung areas, the country’s home ministry said another 47 people were missing, presumed dead.

 

Flood Kills 26 In Vietnam

Vietnam mourns the death of 26 people while still searching for 15 due to floods and landslides caused by torrential rains. Since the start of August, flash floods have caused widespread destruction in the provinces of Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Son La, Cao Bang and Lai Chau, the Hanoi-based disaster control office said in a statement.

“Twenty-six people are dead, 15 missing and 27 others were injured,” it said.

According to witnesses in Yen Bai province, floods tore through villages on Thursday night, carrying with them large boulders from the mountains.

“I told my wife, children and grandchildren to rush out to the side of the hill,” resident Pham Xuan Thanh told online newspaper Phap Luat.

“In a very short time, dozens of houses in our village were washed away.”

State media ran pictures of villages swamped by mud.

Throughout the northwestern area more than 650 houses were destroyed and damaged, hundreds of hectares of crops lost and roads broken, authorities said.

Around 235 people were reported dead and missing last year due to flooding and bad weather in Vietnam. Authorities estimated the losses at $1.7 billion.

The Flood Menace

True to the recent warning by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) about potential flood disasters in parts of the country, floods wreaked havoc in Lagos and Suleja the other day. There was of course, gnashing of teeth that could have been avoided.

Although the Federal Government has released N1.6 billion to 16 flood-prone states, action ought to have been taken earlier to reduce the damage flood can do in states like Ekiti, Osun, Akwa Ibom, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia, Oyo, Lagos, Plateau, Sokoto, Edo and Bayelsa.

Every year, seasonal floods occur during the rainy season. What is disgraceful is that despite the recurrence of this natural disaster, no serious action has been taken at any level of government to effectively protect the citizens who are ill-equipped to face the recurrent disaster.

Flood and its impacts only come to the fore when the disaster occurs. That is when the authorities and the victims run helter-skelter to seek a solution. Impromptu and fire brigade actions are often initiated as remedy but nothing again would be heard until another flooding season.

There is even hardly any mention of flood protection in the country’s annual budget at all levels of government as it is not considered a priority issue.

It is high time the government recognized flooding as a real-time problem, especially, in the face of the global climate change. The ecological fund should, therefore, be used to protect the citizenry from floods and all environmental challenges.

The latest flood wrecked havoc in Lekki and Ajah areas of Lagos and Suleja in Niger State. The Lekki-Ajah and Victoria Garden City (VGC) disaster showed what has become a serious threat to lives and properties in those low-lying but fast developing sections of Lagos.

Although no casualties were recorded, reports had it that about 6-feet high floods submerged Lekki and Ajah areas submerging roads, residential houses, and offices.

Given that Lekki lies below sea-level, the absence of drainage channels over the largely reclaimed landscape exposes the area to ravaging flood water. The disaster is only a warning sign of what lies ahead, as the pressure of urban development mounts over the fragile environment.

The Suleja-Tafa Local Council floods were more devastating as lives were lost and properties destroyed. Thirteen people reportedly died in the raging floods with 10 missing. Some 100 houses were swept away.

A man reportedly lost six out of his eight children as well as his two wives. Large hectares of farm lands were also destroyed. Most of the houses affected were those located near rivers that overflowed their banks.

That little or nothing has been done to stem the impacts of floods in Nigeria speaks of incompetence on the part of governments.

In all the flood disasters, the fundamental problem is lack of planning. Infrastructure is erected indiscriminately without adherence to urban and regional master plans. Consequently, structures are built along floodwater channels.

In Lekki, which is a fast growing development in Lagos, for instance, there seems to be no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as to what the disruption of the ecological equilibrium through massive reclamation of marshland and subsequent infrastructural development would cause.
Standard engineering procedures are also not often followed in erecting structures over reclaimed land. Little or no time is allowed for stabilisation as developers carry on in a hurry.

The situation is the same in Suleja. As a sprawling suburban city close to the Abuja the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the area ought to have been planned with adequate floodwater drainage channels. But sadly, it is exposed to the forces of nature unhindered. The result is the certain massive destruction of lives and property in the event of a flood.

Depending on the environmental conditions of an area, the remedy to floods would naturally vary from place to place. There should be a study of the physical characteristics of an area, by professionals, to have a basis for developing a master plan.

Whereas such studies might have been carried out in Lagos, failure to adhere to the master plan is responsible for the damaging floods in Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikoyi.

Experts note that the plans have drainages, which have not been dredged, for reasons yet undisclosed. There is the belief that much of Lagos Island is at risk of submergence in future and should that happen, billions of dollars worth of investment would be affected.

It is incumbent on the Lagos State authorities to ensure that the master plan of areas close to the ocean is strictly adhered to for easy solution to possible environmental problems.

One option that could be of benefit is to build huge underground flood water receptacles. This engineering solution is useful all over the country, including in drought-prone areas of the north, where the harvested waters could be used for irrigation. The option, however, requires the commitment of the authorities at all levels of government.

The issue of flooding must be put in the country’s development agenda so that the future might not be leak for several low-lying areas in different parts of Nigeria.