Following the prediction of the Nigerian Metereolgical Agency (NIMET) of increased flooding in many states this year,the Bureau for Public Opinion Monitoring(BPO), a civil society group has called on Federal and state governments to take proactive measures to mitigate the impact of the impending flooding and Rain storm on Nigerians.
Against the background of huge losses of persons and properties last year, the group said there was the need for an assessment of the state of the environment,flood and erosion control measures all over the country on or before the first quarter of this year.In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr Olusegun Ilori ,the group bemoaned the lack of planning and preparedness by Nigerians and governments at all levels and the usual resort to” fire brigade” approach in solving problems that ordinarily could be averted.
“We ought to have learnt our lessons from bitter experiences of the last two years where thousands of people were displaced in several parts of the country and billions of naira worth of properties were lost but regrettably we have almost forgotten and only the victims are licking their wounds” the group stated.
According to them”a ready evidence of our forgetfulness is the return of persons to the flood plains of the Rivers Niger and Benue as if nothing had happened and government agents are looking the other way when they could have prevented them or relocate them to new areas.The men and women at Lokoja bridge flooded areas are back there in their ramshackle houses”
The group called on the National Emergency Relief Agency NEMA and the Ecological fund office to direct attention at restricting human activities around the vulnerable flood plains and rainstorm prone areas as part of their proactive efforts at reducing casualities in event of such environmental or climate change induced disasters.
The group called on the Presidential committee set up on the flood problem headed byAlhaji Dangote to account for the money already raised and embark on projects that would assist in redressing the problem of flooding and erosion control,adding that States and Local Governments as well as multilateral agencies ought to put their acts together before the commencement of the raining season.