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FG urges states to commit to flood warnings

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq has warned state governments, local government areas and community leaders especially in Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa states, of the impending floods in the coming weeks.

The Minister, therefore, urged state governments to begin evacuation of persons living along water channels and other areas obstructing the flow of water.

The Minister made this known at a media briefing on Sunday in Abuja, while enumerating the government’s efforts in mitigating the disaster in the country which she described as overwhelming.

She noted that despite concerted efforts to avert the consequences of the 2022 flooding season as forecast by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, many state governments did not prepare for the floods.

She said that as a result, the toll of lives lost and property damaged has risen astronomically.

“Unfortunately, over 603 lives have been lost as of today October 16, 2022. A total of 1,302,589 persons have been displaced, 2,504.095 persons have been affected on the whole, 2,407 persons have been injured, a total of 82,053 houses are completely damaged while 121,318 are partially damaged. 108,392 hectares of farmland were partially destroyed while 332,327 hectares were totally destroyed including many roads and other critical infrastructure”, she said.

Meanwhile, a high-powered delegation set up by the Ministry is to visit State Governors to advocate more commitment to strengthening states’ response mechanisms as stipulated in the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.

She announced that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Nasir Sani Gwarzo, is to lead a delegation to Cameroon next month, to discuss the periodic opening of the Lagdo dam with the authorities.

The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed said almost all states affected have received food and non-food items to mitigate various forms of disaster.

Writing by Hadiza Abdulrahman; editing by Annabel Nwachukwu