Floods: House of Representatives moves to prevent re-occurrence in Nigeria
By Gloria Essien, Abuja
The House of Representatives has taken steps to prevent the re-occurrence of floods in Nigeria.
This was contained in a Motion of Urgent Public Importance On: ‘The Need for Strategic Planning and Funding to Prevent the Reoccurrence of Flood and Erosion Disasters in Nigeria in 2023 And Beyond’, sponsored by Hon. Henry Nwauba and Hon. Ibrahim A. Isiaka.
The House notes that like most countries across the globe, Nigeria is passing through the devastating effects of flood, which is caused by a combination of factors such as heavy rains, heavy precipitation, severe winds over water, unusual high tides, tsunamis, failure of dam’s retention ponds and the impacts of climate change, which makes flood control and management a perennial challenge.
It also notes that with each passing year, the impacts of flooding keeps getting worse, with damages to property, dangers to lives of humans and other species, traffic delay, interference with drainage and economic use of lands, interference with farming, structural damages to bridge bank lines, sewer lines and other structures within floodways.
“Waterways navigation and hydroelectric power have also been impaired leading to colossal financial losses in trillions of Naira. Disturbed that flood disaster has been identified as one of the fall outs of global climate change which we have all been collectively responsible for. This trend would continue and even go worse if we do not see the care of environment as our individual and collective responsibility. The need to change our attitude towards the mother earth is of utmost concern if we really desire to put a check or control to these natural disasters that we are left to contend with. We have observed incident trends of late, amongst localities and even countries; it has become a very disturbing issue”.
The motion added that strategic planning and adequate funding will help mitigate the effects and facilitate quick and better recovery of Lives, Properties, Economy and Overall Environment calling for to proactive instead of reactive responses.
“Further disturbed that recent unpleasant experience in Nigeria could have been avoided or mitigated if we clearly identified and recognize the peculiarity of risk we are exposed to, based on our geographical positioning.
“Further, notes that as far back as January 2022, the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) warned of impending floods across most states in Nigeria especially flood prone areas and could continue until the end of November 2022 in many states across the nation.
“Aware that in 2012, 32 out of 36 states were affected by flooding, with 363 people killed, over 2.1 Million people displaced, about 7 Million people affected and a total loss estimate of =N=2.6 Trillion recorded”, the motion stressed.
It further said that “Aware that in 2022, 33 out of 36 states and the FCT are affected, that is 92% of the entire country, over 600 people killed. Over 1.4 Million people displaced and over 2.5Million people in need of humanitarian assistance with over 60% of this number being children”.
The motion also said that it was concerned that Nigeria appears to be unready for climate change with ranking of 162 out of 180 countries in the environment performance index.
It says it is disturbed by the fact that the dimensional impact of the unfortunate situation is that Nigeria can expect a food crisis, humanitarian crisis, health crisis and revenue shortfall in Nigeria come 2023.
“Further disturbed that most of the affected states are agrarian economies which raises concern about impending food crisis, with 110,000 hectares of farmlands completely damaged, Olam rice farm submerged worth over =S15M, 10 hecters of rice farm submerged in Kogi state. Worried that transportation of food and other essential products such as petroleum products affected by the damaged roads and bridges and food inflation which is already of record high (23.3%) as at early November will increase further. More Worried that currently a bag of 50Kg Rice cost about =N48, 000, up by 48.8%, while a bag of Maize used for animal feed is about =N=29,000, up by 93%.
“Conscious that food inflation, which typically falls during the harvest season, has defied the trend this year, due to the compound effect of flooding and structural bottle necks.
More conscious that with Nigeria as the largest producer of Rice in Africa and the 14th highest in the world, largest producer of cassava in the world, largest producer of yam tubers, 5th largest producer of vegetables with 16.4Million Tonnes, 11th largest producer of Maize, 3rd largest producer of groundnuts. 3rd largest producer of sweet potatoes, 2nd largest producer of sorghum and 12th largest producer of cotton stands to lose so much, if this flooding is left unchecked. Informed by the most recent announcement on Monday 7th November 2022 by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to the effect that the heavy downpour will re-occur next year 2023″, the urgent matter says.
The House therefore resolves to:
- Mandate the committee on Legislative Agenda to coordinate a Technical Working Group between the Executive and Legislature as well as Industrial Experts and stakeholders to articulate an Action Plan to forestall a repeat of such flood and erosion disasters in 2023 and beyond,
- Urge the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Office of the Accountant General`s Office, to release immediately, a princely sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira), into the already created Special Ecological Fund Account of each State of the Federation and F.C.T, to mitigate the effect of flooding that recently ravaged the entire nation,
- Urge the Federal Government to make an urgent request for Supplementary Budget from the National Assembly, the Sum of N100,000,000,00.00(One Hundred Billion Naira Only) or more, to Ecological Project Office- EPO (The Presidency) as Intervention Fund for Mitigation, Recovery and Relieve Programs across the Nation,
- Mandates the House Committee on Appropriation to make provision of N200,000,000,000.00 (Two Hundred Billion Naira Only) in the 20023 Appropriation Year, for the Ecological Project Office in the Presidency for flood preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery and relieve packages,
- Mandates the committee on legislative compliance to ensure compliance and report to the House within 1 week.
very clear and good article easy to understand. Thank you