Flood Predictions Trigger Residents Relocation In Anambra

flood, residents of Anambra, NEMA, Predictions by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), have forced the government and people of Anambra State in flood prone areas to commence preparations to relocate.

According to the nation’s meteorologists, 11 states, including Anambra will be affected.

The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has embarked on a sensitisation tour of the 10 Local Government areas of Anambra State that are flood prone.

Relevant stakeholders and organisations that will assist in disseminating the flood alert information to the grassroots are also involved.

River Size Increase

Life in Otuocha, a community in Anambra East local Government area of the state still appears to be flourishing and there is yet to be any signs of flooding, as the river is not surging towards the land.

Residents, who stay close to the riverine areas, say business and transportation activities are fully on-going at the marine market despite noticeable increase in the size of the river.

They said that  in spite of the August break, which signals that the prediction, as against that of 2014, may be true, they were prepared for the eventuality, should it come.


During the 5th general seminar of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, the Executive Secretary of SEMA, Mr Paul Odenigbo, urged traditional institutions, especially those in the flood prone areas, to help sensitise the community members to begin gathering their valuables ahead of time.

In an interview, the Executive Secretary of SEMA told reporters that the government was fumigating and preparing the 21 IDP camps across the state and urged the people to heed the flood warning.

The people, however, appealed to the government to provide speed boats which would facilitate easy and quick evacuation of their belongings when the time comes.

Swept Away

Meanwhile, few days after the flood alert was issued, one of the states mentioned – Kano – experienced flood that swept away at least 5,300 houses.

It occurred in  six local government areas of Kano State.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Agency, Mr Aliyu Bashir, the affected local government areas include, Bebeji, Dawakin Kudu, Kiru Shanono, Bagwai and Garun Mallam.

On Tuesday, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it believed the Federal and State governments were better prepared to avert a humanitarian crisis after recent flood alerts.

The Director General of NEMA, Sani Sidi, expressed hopes of government’s readiness, stressing that early warning provided must be matched with early action.

Flood Displaces Over 90,000 People In Japan

japan-floodingMore than 90,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes in Japan, as widespread flooding and landslides hit the city of Joso, north of the capital, Tokyo.

Helicopter rescue teams have been plucking people from rooftops.

One person has been reported missing in the region, and at least 12 are injured.

The heavy downpour came a day after a tropical storm brought winds of up to 125km/h.

The hardest-hit areas have been Ibaraki and Tochigi Prefectures.

Japan’s Meterological Agency had put both regions on its highest level of alert.

Footages from Joso in Ibaraki showed people clinging to the rooftops before helicopter rescue teams could safe them.

Entire homes and cars were carried away on the torrent as the Kinugawa river burst its banks after two days of heavy rainfall.

Ajimobi Inspects Apete Bridge Project, Demands Faster Process

Apete BridgeThe Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has demanded a faster process towards the completion of the Apete Bridge, which was washed away in 2011, and is now under construction.

Accompanied by members of his cabinet, Governor Ajimobi inspected the on-going construction work on the bridge, to assess the extent of the damage and to assure the people that government has not abandoned them.

During the visit, he disclosed that Government had paid a substantial part of the contract sum to the contractor but halted further payment to ensure the contractors give value for money.

A cross section of residents who spoke to Channels Television implored Government to speed up efforts on the bridge as they have been cut off from the rest of the city.

Meanwhile the Commissioner of Works, Mr Bimbo Kolade, explained that the Apete brigde project would be all encompassing, as 3.5km road leading to the bridge was also under rehabilitation and expansion. He assured residents of the area that it would be completed by year end.

Meanwhile, Governor Ajimobi also berated some politicians, he said, had been tampering with the pedestrian bridge under the guise of showing concern, warning that the Government would not allow any breach of peace.

The Governor thus directed the contractor handling the bridge to ensure that a temporary pedestrian bridge was put in place within a few days, and that the main bridge should be completed before the end of the year.

He explained that the completion period for the project was the end of the year in view of his administration’s resolve not just to rehabilitate the bridge but to also expand and modernize it in line with his government’s transformation agenda.

Governor Ajimobi frowned at the vandalism of the properties of the contractors handling the project, warning that people should desist from taking laws into their hands.

The President of the Students’ Union Government of the Polytechnic, Ibadan, Mr. Iyiola Mubarak, implored the Governor to speed up work on the bridge as students are billed to resume on July 21.

Agency Warns Of Flooding In Yobe, Sokoto And Parts Of Niger Delta

nema_floodingNigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe has presented the 2014 flood outlook for the country, which warns of impending floods in Yobe, Benue, Sokoto States and parts of the Niger Delta.

The minister who urged citizens in these areas to take the forecast seriously, made the revelation during a presentation organised by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency in Abuja.

This is the second time the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency is issuing a flood outlook for the country, since it was established by the Federal Government in 2013.

The federal government had established the agency after  27 States across the federation  experienced severe flooding, that killed  over 400 and displaced  about two million people, in 2012.

The Agency was therefore established to provide advance flood warnings, in order to prevent such disasters.

The minister also called for inter-agency collaboration in order to be effective in preventing, controlling, and responding to cases of flood across the country.

Channels Beam: Advocates Concerned About Nigeria’s Attitude To Climate Change

Olumide IdowuOn this edition of the programme, young Nigerians who are passionate about climate change express concerns regarding the general disposition of the government and citizens, to the subject matter.

An environmentalist, Olumide Idowu, who is also the founder of #ClimateWednesday, shared his views about the efforts of government and highlights steps to be taken to educate the citizenry.

Rainstorm Wreaks Havoc In Ilorin, Two Dead

rainstormAbout three people including two children have drowned after a heavy downpour in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The rain started at about 11pm on Wednesday and lasted for about four hours.

The impact was only discovered in the morning when most of the streets around Offa Garage area were blocked with trees and about 25 vehicles which were parked within the garages and parking lots of their owners had been washed into the main roads, thereby causing several hours of gridlocks.

The flood also cut off a large chunk of soil from beneath the rail track of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, cutting through the road thereby making it impassable for the train.

A section of the rail track behind Kingdom Heritage Secondary School was also affected.

Consequently no fewer than 1000 passengers on a train travelling from Lagos to the northern part of the country were stranded.

Properties worth several millions of Naira were destroyed, and the residents put the blame of the flooding on the doorstep of the management of a hotel in the area, whom they accused of obstructing the drainage by constructing a culvert in front of the hotel.

The resulting flooding of several apartments was responsible for the death of two boys who were in Ilorin to spend the holiday with their grandmother.

Many neighbours could not control their emotions as the bodies of the two boys named Basit and Gafar were brought out from their apartment, with people consoling their father, who just arrived from another state.

The State Commissioner of Environment, Abubakar Mora, who arrived the scene early, after inspecting the damages, gave assurances of the government’s readiness to find a lasting solution to the yearly flooding especially as it affects the construction of culvert by the hotelier.

Ossomala Farmers Fault Distribution Of Flood Relief Funds

floodFarmers in Ossomala, Ogbaru local government area of Anambra state have said the flood relief fund distributed by the government had little or no effect on their recovery process, as it was not properly and equitably distributed.

The 2012 flood ravaged over seven local government areas in the state but Ogbaru and Anambra West local government areas, which are water logged areas, were the worst hit.

At St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish, Reverend Father in-charge Chris Ossomala recalled the untold devastation of the flood which caused the destruction of properties and complained of the process of government intervention.

Also, Mrs. Omelogo Eke, a commercial cassava farmer, who produced over eight basins of cassava for sale in the local market, complained of the poor intervention from government. She said she was forced to lend money to ensure that her business did not collapse, as it was her family’s only source of livelihood. On his part, Mr. Obiorah Oranyelu, a physically challenged cassava and yam farmer commended the government for intervening at all but expressed bitterness over the way the flood relief fund was distributed, maintaining that it did not really serve the purpose it was meant for.

Although the government had said it would assist the affected communities, the farmers said their hopes were dashed and called on the government to device a better means of distribution, so the donations can get to the targeted people.

The farmers say cultivation of a hectare of land costs between fifty to sixty thousand naira. While the dissatisfaction goes on, the farmers suggested that government should distribute any relief to targeted farmers to achieve result and in his suggestion; Rev. Fr. Odimegwu said government should extend the relief to school fees to support the struggling parents.

In his reaction, the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of Flood Intervention Committee, Oseloka Obaze explained that all the money the federal government released to Anambra for the flood intervention was properly channeled.

NEMA Organises Anti-flood Campaign For Groups

Not ignoring the impact that flooding has had on Nigeriain 2012, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has embarked on an awareness campaign to prepare Nigerians for flood.

The sensitization campaign was organized for local government officials, civil society organizations, community and faith based organisations, volunteers and citizens to educate them on risk reduction and prevention.

Flooding has been known to have a damaging effect on farmlands which will always lead to increase in food prices as reckoned by resource persons at the campaign workshop.

NEMA urged Nigerians to obey warnings on the impending flood by the Nigerian Meteorological Department, noting that it will go a long way in reducing the impact of the flood.

It further advised that warnings should be strictly adhered to in order to avoid the repetition of last year’s flood disaster.

 

Current Rains Will Not Lead To Flooding – NIMET

The Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Anthony Anuforom has said that the current rainfall and wind pattern does not suggest flooding as predicted in the 2013 seasonal rainfall prediction released by the agency in February.

The agency had predicted that rainfall pattern in most parts of Nigeria was likely to be similar to that of 2012.

Speaking at a news confrence in Abuja, Mr Anuforom gave updates on the 2013 rainfall pattern, allaying fears that the country will again experience loss of lives and property.

He advised members of the public living in coastal states to take necessary precautionary measures that will prevent the likelihood of flooding.

He added that the agency will continue to monitor and provide regular updates as the weather conditions evolve adding that the north eastern states of Yobe and Adamawa may experience strong dryness due to very high temperatures usually recorded in the area between March and April.

Climate Change: Lack Of Strategy Bars Nigeria From Foreign Aid

An environmentalist, Sulaiman Arigbabu, while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily said a National Response Strategy disqualifies Nigeria from receiving funds from external bodies, adding that there is need for a National Climate Change Commission.

Mr Arigbabu said it would be impossible for Nigeria to receive funds from international bodies if there is no structure or action plan put in place to champion the cause appropriately.

Citing Kenya as a country which has gone ahead to institute proper structure, he disclosed that “the world is taking them serious” because they have policy in place.

He said that all efforts to get the government to institute a National Climate Change Commission have failed.

“Nigeria cannot be a recipient of most of these things because we don’t have a strategy” he said.

Mr Arigbabu called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to come up with a National Response Strategy to climate change. He said giving funds will not solve the problem.

“You don’t throw money at problems,” he said.

Erosion: Okorocha Says More Houses To Be Demolished In Owerri

The Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has said that the government will have to demolish more houses built on water ways in the state capital, Owerri, as part of its precautionary measures against flood.

He made this known during a tour to inspect areas which were badly affected by erosion.

He also disclosed that there are plans to return to the original Owerri Master Plan which provides a central drainage system in the city. This he said will provide a major solution to the challenges of erosion and poor drainage which presently affect the city.

The Governor said the state government will continue the demolition of some residential houses that were built on the water ways and drainage because erosion and poor drainage system has been a major issue his administration is working tirelessly to tackle.

The demolition exercise will be supervised by a committee which has been set up through the Ministry of works and environment.

He advised Imo indigenes to desist from throwing dirt and garbage on the water ways and drainages because it’s one of the major problems causing erosion within the state capital.

NEMA Issues Fresh Nationwide Flood Alert

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has issued fresh flooding alert following the announcement by Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET) in its seasonal rainfall prediction that there will be another flooding this year.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Director General of NEMA, Muhammed Sani Sidi said the agency spent N1.3 billion to provide relief and manage flood disaster in the country in 2012.

Mr Sidi urged state governments to quickly evacuate people living along the floodplains to reduce the risk of flooding this year.

This was in response to the complaints of many of the rural dwellers who are most vulnerable, that unless they are relocated, they have nowhere to go.

He also listed the communities that would be vulnerable to flooding this year according to the findings of NIMET.

The states include Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara in the North West while the entire South-South and Southwest zones will be affected.

NIMET had last month predicted normal rainfall in Nigeria during the year except in Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger and Kwara states, which might experience excessive rainfall.

The agency had also predicted that rainfall pattern in most parts of Nigeria was likely to be similar to that of 2012.