The Director-General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA), Mr. Clement Nze, has said that the Federal Government provided a lot of relief to cushion the effects of flooding in the affected states.
Nze told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, that the relief followed the setting up of a Presidential committee on flood relief and rehabilitation by the Federal Government, where so many corporate bodies, philanthropists, banks and some Nigerians have contributed resources such that states that are badly affected by the floods do not bear the burden alone.
According to him, the committee is a collaborative partnership between the Federal and State Governments for immediate intervention on flood prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
Nze said the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR) has erected several hostels across the states, to serve as temporary relief apartments to affected victims in the states.
“The state governments should key into this initiative and provide alternatives and facilities because you can’t just ask someone to move out when there are no alternatives.
“During the peak period of the rainy season, the states should relocate people, provide them with food and clothing for about three months before the rising water will recede to enable them return to their homes,” he said.
He stated that the Minister of humanitarian affairs, gender management and social development, Sadiya Umar Faruk, has been going round the affected states.
“She was in Lokoja last week, was also in Jigawa and Kebbi where the damage was much, all these is to make sure that life is made easy for those who are in affected areas.
Nze further stated that the Federal Government is also providing palliatives through the minister who supervises national emergencies and building structures that will ensure that during the next rainy season, some damages done this year will not happen again.
According to Nze, “Government is also seeing to it that farmlands lost bounce back and houses submerged and collapsed buildings are rebuilt. The government is supporting farmers in Kebbi with seedlings for two more planting seasons.
“There is a direct link between flooding and food scarcity. So whatever natural phenomenon that is triggering flooding is reported to USAID and other relevant bodies that will take necessary actions to mitigate such disasters.
“The national food security council is collating information to ensure that the effects of flooding can be cushioned and doesn’t result to food insecurity in the country.”
He urged states to build embankments along water ways, to stop rivers from overflowing when rain falls.
He said “By our predictions, 102 local governments areas, cutting across 28 states, will be badly affected by floods.”
“Today, not less than 34 states have suffered severely from flooding,” he added.