Flooding is a severe problem in most Nigerian cities as a result of overflown river levels, heavy rainfall, and drainage systems with limited capacity.
Official data says over 1.3 million people have been displaced from their homes in the last 11 years, with over 431 lives lost and buildings worth billions of naira destroyed.
In 2022, Nigeria saw its worst flooding in more than 40 years.
According to the minister of humanitarian affairs, more than 600 people died, thousands were injured, and hundreds of thousands of homes and enormous swaths of agriculture have also been destroyed.
Renewed flood threat
Despite increased attempts to mitigate flood threats in Nigerian cities, the frequency and magnitude of occurrences have more than doubled in recent years.
As a result of the severity and scope of the incident, immediate action is required to ensure a sustainable urban environment.
Mansur Matazu, the Director General of NiMet, had already presented the 2023 seasonal climate projection, which predicted an early commencement of rain across the country.
However, some communities are already feeling the effects of this forecast.
There is an urgent need for stakeholders and government engagement to avoid negative environmental consequences while guaranteeing long-term climate justice in the country.
Flood mitigation and climate resilience
Action Aid Nigeria has begun its intervention by organizing community capacity building and town hall meetings on flood mitigation and climate resilience.
Country Director Action Aid Ene Obi urged state actors to establish and communicate contingency plans as soon as possible, particularly for communities in coastal states such as Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Kogi, Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, and Rivers.
At a media briefing in Abuja, Director of Programmes, Suwaiba Muhammad, who represented Director Obi, identified non-coastal states that are vulnerable to flooding, including Jigawa, Adamawa, Kano, Zamfara, Ebonyi, and Yobe.
She emphasized the importance of taking into account NiMET’s projection of a severe dry period that is expected to continue between 15 and 21 days beginning in June and early July in states including Sokoto, Zamfara, Ebonyi, and Yobe.
With climate change expected to lead to even more rainfall in Nigeria, residents will be hoping that the authorities finally take action to protect them from the annual floods.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Saadatu Albashir