The Nigerian government has constituted a high-level committee to proffer solutions to flooding and its consequences in Nigeria.
The Committee was set up following the opening of the Lagdo dam by the Cameroonian authorities,
The head of the committee, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu made this known during a press conference held by the committee members immediately after the maiden edition of the stakeholder’s meeting on the Lagdo dam in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Dr Edu said the meeting was at the instance of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, following her presentation at the Maiden Federal Executive meeting.
According to her, the Federal government is interested in the prevention, mitigation and proffering solutions to flooding and its consequences.
The Minister said some of the measures taken to avert flooding are for State Governors and communities to ensure that drainages are cleaned and obstructions to waterways are quickly removed across the country and sensitisation at all levels of government.
“Everyone is part of the engagement and sensitisation efforts of the federal government.
“Persons in the affected areas of the flood are enjoined to move to high lands for safety and state governors are to stand up to their responsibilities on evacuating persons in such areas to protect lives and properties,“ she said.
According to Dr Edu, the Federal government will be working with Ministries, Departments and Agencies, States and Local governments to ensure that humanitarian services are provided as well as food and non-food items, health and livelihood for recovery, reintegration and resettlement for the affected persons.
The Minister of Environment, Dr Ishaq Salako, said Flood Early Warning System domiciled in his Ministry is active and issuing hourly warning alerts of floods not only on River Benue but most parts of the country including River Niger.
This he said was aimed at warning people and to let them know the level of water in their areas and vulnerability to flood.
He stated that a platform has been created where environment correspondents are added and they can receive hourly alerts directly without waiting on the Ministry’s officials.
Also, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Joseph Utsev, said the media is a critical stakeholder in advocating the flood.
“The Media is an important partner in the struggle and encouraged them to continue the good work they are doing.”
He said the media disseminates the message of preventing and mitigating floods. He said that as a government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we are finding solutions to the flooding to reduce the suffering of people and loss of lives and properties.
The Minister of State for Water Resources and Sanitation, Bello Goronyo, called on all Nigerians to support the government to ensure that everybody in the danger zone has vacated the areas and states to ensure that such people are evacuated immediately to preserve lives and properties.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) wishes to allay fears of Nigerians over the release of the excess water from Lagdo dam, which is located on River Benue in the Republic of Cameroon. pic.twitter.com/AOxUvOlLJZ
— NEMA Nigeria (@nemanigeria) August 28, 2023
Other members of the committee include the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Social Welfare, Interior, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Police Force, NSCDC, NEMA, NIMET, NIHSA and Fire Service, amongst others.