The federal government yesterday raised the alarm over the devastating effects of flood on farmlands, saying the situation calls for serious attention if famine must be averted in the country.
Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, who made this position known at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) briefing, noted that there was need for a national debate to address the flood disaster which is becoming a threat to food security.
She said, “where you have in a country, well over 5,000 farmlands washed away, then the chances are that there is cause for attention. It is of national interest. So all what we are saying is that, it is a national emergency. It calls for sober reflection. It does call for open debate of who did that and what.
“We have also seen a number of infrastructure both federal and states owned that have been submerged. The consequences are that there are huge losses of farmlands, there are likely threat to food security, we are likely going to have challenges that have to do with the health of people in some areas.
“Some of these things are beyond mere saying that we need to move, we need to also adapt and change our attitude. You can see that all over the world, this is the reality we face today”.
Noting, however, that it was a natural disaster which government was doing its best to tackle, the minister said, “the flooding we are experiencing in the country does not in any way fall into what you can term man made.
"This is a natural phenomenon that cuts across the globe. With the kind of technology put in place in the United States, they still had flooding there, in China and even our neighbour, Niger, an arid land, they are experiencing flooding”.