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2022 flood worst in Nigeria’s history, NEMA tells reps

The Director-General (DG), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Habib Ahmed has informed that the 2022 flooding is the worst in the history of Nigeria.…

The Director-General (DG), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Habib Ahmed has informed that the 2022 flooding is the worst in the history of Nigeria.

He stated this while speaking before the Special Ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives investigating the utilisation of Ecological Funds on Wednesday.

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He said, “I want to use this opportunity to inform this distinguished committee that the 2022 flood disaster is the worst recorded in the history of Nigeria. It was by far more devastating than the 2012 flood which was hitherto considered unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.

“Distinguished Chairman, as predicted, the 2022 flood hit the country with devastating consequences, impacted thousands of communities and wreaked havoc in all the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.

“A total of 612 persons lost their lives; 3,219,780 persons were affected; 1,427,370 persons were displaced and 2,776 others suffered various degrees of injuries.

Ahmed continued, “A total of 181,600 houses were partially damaged and 123,807 houses were totally damaged. A total of 176,852 hectares of farmland were partially destroyed while 392,300 hectares of farmland got totally destroyed as a result of the floods.

“During the period, we had to deploy all our available assets including search and rescue equipment and personnel to the field in the most impacted states to support life-saving activities of SEMAs and other state-level partners at the peak of the flood disaster”.

Ahmed further noted that to save the lives of Nigerians and safeguard livelihoods, NEMA swung into action to prepare and downscale the early warning alerts to state governments and all other emergency responders to minimize the impact of the impending flood predicted by NIMET and NIHSA to affect the entire federation.

The DG however informed the Committee that, the magnitude of the damage and losses caused by the 2022 flood disaster can only be determined after the Agency has completed a sector-wide comprehensive assessment and Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA).

He said the assessment will enable NEMA to advise the government on recovery options for the speedy restoration of normalcy and to safeguard national food security.

In his remark, the Committee chairman, Ibrahim A. Isiaka lamented the attitude of some government agencies who failed to show up despite being invited.

He said, “Nobody in this country, no matter how hard-hearted, would come out boldly to tell us that the situation we experienced in the last few months about flooding across the nation is so pleasant or pleasurable to him or her to watch.

“For three years, we have been striving to collaborate with all stakeholders, especially at the Presidency. Some of the agencies that by the law of the National Assembly that created them gave an opportunity for them to take money from the Ecological Fund to support their programmes”.