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Flood: FG puts states on red alert

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has urged state governments to take measures to address forecasts on heavy…

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has urged state governments to take measures to address forecasts on heavy rainfalls and consequential flooding.

The minister, in a statement, urged states to organise humanitarian coordination fora to prepare all stakeholders for mitigation and request relief materials for prompt response after floods.

She advised states in flood risk areas to identify high grounds for use as camps for the evacuation of possible internally displaced persons and to shelter evacuated communities.

She said the recent flood incidents in Kebbi, Bauchi and Jigawa States affirmed the need for serious and urgent actions to be taken to safeguard lives and property against the predicted flood.

The minister sympathized with the people of the states over the heavy flooding that led to loss of lives and farmlands as well as displacement of many people.

“The 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction and the Annual Flood Outlook forecast flood situations for different parts of the country. The Annual Flood Outlook forecasts that 102 local government areas, in 28 states will have heavy rainfall while 275 local government areas in the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory will experience moderate flooding.

“Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Niger, Kogi, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Rivers and Akwa Ibom including Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Osun, Kwara, Zamfara, Sokoto, Lagos, Ondo, Bayelsa, Kaduna, Oyo, Ogun, Abia, Kano, Kebbi and the FCT are states forecast to experience heavy rainfall and possible flooding.”

She urged state emergency management agencies, frontline local government authorities and other response agencies to put in place precautionary actions by carrying out public enlightenment campaigns, ensuring the desilting of river channels and canals and removal of all refuse and weeds from water channels, drainages and all avenues for run offs to allow free flow of flood waters.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono, said the recent flood disaster washed away over 450,000 hectares of rice farmlands and other crops in Kebbi State.

Nonono, according to a statement yesterday by the ministry, said this in Kebbi during an assessment of the devastation caused by floods in the state.

He said the Federal Government was set to get improved seeds and other intervention for affected farmers to restart planting as soon as the rains recede.

He said it was one of the worst disasters witnessed in recent times and said his visit was to restore hope and build up confidence for the farmers in the state.

Meanwhile, the Maize Association of Nigeria has said it is launching a massive dry season commercial production for the first time in the history of the country targeting 500,000 hectares of land beginning from November.

Its president, Bello Abubakar Funtua, told Daily Trust that this was to mitigate the impact of the recent flood that swept away thousands of hectares of farmlands in some states.

“In order to bridge the deficit occasioned by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, recent floods and drought in some parts of the country, the association would embark on dry season farming at commercial level to scale up production,” he said.