Residents living in about 40 communities prone to flood in Ogun State have been asked to relocate temporarily as part of moves to save lives and property.
The State’s Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun made the disclosure while receiving the Director-General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Alhaji Muhammad (Rtd.) yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The Commissioner disclosed that a number of residents have already started relocating, adding that the government would deploy persuasive means and not force to ensure that the affected communities vacate the flood plain areas.
He said the government had already commenced massive dredging of rivers and de-silting of canals across the state to curb incidences of flooding, and called for the continuous support of the federal government in the provision of relief materials for disaster victims across the state.
The NEMA DG represented by Air Commodore Edward Kolawole Adedokun, who was on an advocacy visit to the state identified the highly probable flood risk areas in Ogun State as Abeokuta South, Ogun Waterside, and Ijebu East Local Government Areas, while the probable flood areas are Ewekoro, Abeokuta North, Odeda and Ifo LGs.
He also asked Governor Dapo Abiodun to direct the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), frontline LG authorities and other response agencies to put in preparedness actions towards mitigating the flood crisis.
He also appealed to the government to identify high grounds for possible Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in order to shelter evacuated communities.
He further expressed fears over the flood disaster in Kebbi, Jigawa, and other parts of the country, saying the huge crops lost have put the nation’s food security under threat.
He said the farm produce expected to boost national food security have been lost to flood in Kebbi, Jigawa, and other affected areas.
“It is a loss to the nation; it is a loss to the Kebbi State Government. And the same thing is replicated in Jigawa State and across Nigeria.
“States are losing people, houses, and farms.
“You can’t really quantify it.
“It is a great loss to the country,” he said.