The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) on Tuesday said there would be flooding in Niger, Imo, Benue and other states.
The agency urged those living in flood-prone areas to relocate upland or safer locations.
The Director-General of NIHSA, Moses Beckley, stated this in Abuja at the presentation of this year’s Annual Flood Outlook by the agency.
Beckley also said the floods would spread to many local government areas, calling on governments at all levels to ensure early preparation.
According to him, most cities are expected to experience severe flooding this year due to rise in sea level and tidal surge.
The agency added that Sokoto, Niger, Benue, Anambra, Imo, Ogun, Osun, Cross River, Yobe, Rivers, Delta, Ondo, Lagos, Oyo, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Kogi, are expected to experience flood.
Other states are – Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Kwara, FCT, Kogi, Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Enugu, Ekiti, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Kano, Jigawa, and Edo.
He added that there would be flashes of flood in some states as the rains set in.
The NIHSA chief said the number of people vulnerable to devastating flood would continue to rise because of large scale urbanization and population growth in flood prone areas.
Beckley said: “The number of people vulnerable to devastating flood would continue to rise due to large-scale urbanization, population growth in flood-prone areas, deforestation, climate change and rising sea levels.
“The agency is sensitizing the general public especially those living in flood prone areas, on probably flooding events and advising them to take proactive steps to avoid loss of lives and property, damage to crucial infrastructure, disruption of socio-economic activities and in some cases, displacement of people in the affected areas.
“Governments at different levels need to empower national platforms so that they can carry out evidence-based disaster risk practices as part of flood management.”
He called for the construction of more dams and drainage systems to curtail excess water in future.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the Federal Government had in the past constructed dams and reservoirs to manage river flows in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government though my ministry and its agencies had over the years undertaken fundamental initiatives to manage river flows within the country for the ultimate good of all citizens.
“This has been achieved through construction of dams, reservoirs, artificial lakes, barriers, irrigation facilities and other structural measures and controls as well as non-structural measures such as flood plain mapping, flood sensitization and awareness campaign,” the minister stated.
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