More than 25 million Nigerians, who live in the coastal areas, are at risk of being affected by flood, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned.
NEMA’s Head of Public Relations, Mr. Yusha’u Shuaib, said on Friday in Abuja that the basins of rivers Niger, Benue and Sokoto were the most prone to the flood.
Shuaib said that an assessment exercise conducted by NEMA and other partner agencies, showed that most of the country’s larger rivers had flood plains that were subject to flooding during the rainy seasons.
He listed the states that were threatened by flood to include, Rivers, Niger, Benue, Cross River, Katsina, and Imo among others.
“The areas that have had severe flooding impacts since the beginning of the rainy season include the coastal areas of Lagos, Ondo, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States,” Shuaib said.
He gave factors that favour flooding in the area to include lack of surface drains, or blockage of existing drains with municipal waste, refuse and eroded soil sediments.
“Nigerian towns and cities are generally characterised by poor drains and are, therefore, prone to flooding, particularly cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Aba, Calabar, Maiduguri and Port Harcourt,” he said.
He said the agency had intensified efforts to ensure protection of people living in the affected areas through advocacy campaigns, to prevent loss of lives and properties.
“The agency is warning people of impending danger to their lives and where necessary urging states and local authorities to relocate people in disaster prone areas,” Shuaibu said.