Flood Warning in 8 Major Rivers in 2016

Flood prone area

The
Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has warned that floods
will likely occur in eight major rivers and their tributaries in the
course of 2016.

The
Director-General of the agency, Dr Moses Beckley, gave the warning at
the presentation of the 2016 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) in Abuja.
Beckley listed the
rivers as Niger, Benue, Sokoto-Rima, Anambra-Imo, Cross River, Niger
Delta, Komadougu-Yobe, Ogun-Osun and several other sub-basins of the
country.
According to him,
the 2016 AFO is the fourth edition in the series, and is to provide
information for decision and policy makers and stakeholders to promote
adequate preparedness, mitigation and early warning.
The
Director-General explained that AFO was aimed at providing response
measures for reducing flood risks and also to improve socio-economic
activities and national development.
Beckley said that risk areas in the country had been classified into: High Risk, Medium Risk and Low Risk Flood areas.
While evaluating
the previous flood situations in the country, the official said the
2013, which was the maiden edition of the AFO, recorded about 70 per
cent manifestation in the confidence limit tests.
He said that about
63 per cent manifestation was recorded for the 2014 edition, while about
55 per cent manifestation was recorded in 2015.
“The fall in the
degree of manifestation from 2013 to 2015 is seen as success story
attributed to positive response from the government, stakeholders and
citizens.This is due to the forecasts and putting in place mitigation
measures for reduction in the probability of flooding occurrence and its
impacts on the nation’s economy,” he said.
Beckey, however,
noted that issues of hydrological hazards (floods and drought) had
increasingly been major concerns all over the world mainly due to human
activities, climate change and rising sea levels.
He said that in
Nigeria, drought and desertification had been encroaching on arable
lands in the northern parts of the country while gully erosion and
landslide were noted in the South East.
The director said
communities in the coastal and riverine areas were under the threat of
recurrent coastal flooding and salt water intrusion.
He also said that flooding in urban areas had become noticeable in most cities in the country.

“Nigeria is blessed
with numerous rivers and streams, the largest of which are the
trans-boundary Rivers Niger and Benue.The influence of these
trans-boundary rivers contribute to flood that is being experienced in
some parts of the country,” he said.

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