Government to introduce technology for flood control
By Ngozi Oboh
Disturbed by the recent environmental problems in the country, especially flooding, the federal government is planning to launch an automated web-based flood early warning system to check flood, Hadiza Mailafia has said.
Mrs Mailafia stated this while receiving in-audience Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, governor of Kaduna State in her office in Abuja..
“The system will provide information on flood prone areas in major cities in the country,” she said.
Mrs. Hadiza reiterated the commitment of the Ministry to deliver on the transformation agenda of the present administration.
Recently there was massive flooding in different parts of the country especially Lagos, Ogun and Oyo, as long hours of ceaseless rain caused havoc and resulted in casualties, as well as huge material losses.
Travellers were stranded as the rain disrupted flight operations for hours and made departure and landing difficult for aircraft even as the runway of the Lagos airport was also flooded.
Air traffic controllers described the rain as the heaviest in recent times, adding that airplanes were diverted to other airports until the runaway was free of flood.
In Nigeria, the basic causes of floods are heavy and intense rainfall associated with high run-off. Other causes of floods in the country include dam breaks, blockages in river channels, population pressure as increasing number of people, especially the poor, are settling in flood-prone areas. In addition, some land use practices, some of which tend to favour increased runoff and decreased infiltration of rainfall into the soils, contribute significantly to the increasing trend of flooding in the country.
Since the incidence of floods are caused by many factors, not only those restricted to hydro-meteorological phenomena, the successful operation of a an Flood Early Warning System management and emergency response.
The great losses sustained from flood damage annually constitute great problem in flood management and environmental sustainability. This is because coordinated attentions in terms of flood monitoring and prediction have not been given priority to address the menace of these increasing problems.
In addition, physical vulnerabilities such as poverty, severe overpopulation and unregulated human activities are major factors contributing to the country’s vulnerability to flood disasters.
Having noted the huge economic losses from floods nationwide, and poised to adopt a proactive preventive approach in the management of flood, the Federal Ministry of Environment is there attempting a technology based approach in addressing the problem.
Responding Mr Yakowa said it will be a step in direction if the ministry can assist Kaduna to addresss the environmental challenges facing the state, particularly that of Kaduna river which is posing a threat to the citizens.