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May 20, 2024
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Flood: Mitigates Impending Crisis, ActionAid Urges government.

ActionAid Nigeria has called on the Nigerian government to take urgent actions to address the looming threat of flooding in 148 Local Government Areas across the country.

This followed, the recent announcement by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) concerning the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), especially communities in the 148 LGAs expected to be most affected.

In a press statement released on Thursday, the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Andrew Mamedu noted that the potential impact of flooding on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Nigerians cannot be overstated.

Mamedu said, “As we face the looming threat of high flood risk, the Federal and State governments, and all relevant agencies must promptly take action to mitigate the potential devastating effects.”

While applauding the federal government for the early warning this year, ActionAid Nigeria urged all three tiers of government to make good use of the Ecological Fund at the disposal of the government for better preparedness for anticipated flood.

“The federal government must not allow floods to set us back year after year. With proper measures in place, we can significantly mitigate the impact of floods and prevent recurring crisis.

“Failure to act not only exacerbates the suffering of vulnerable communities but also risks further entrenching poverty amidst the already high cost of living in Nigeria.

“The current flood situation in Nigeria demands urgent plans and solutions, including prioritising investment in robust flood prevention infrastructure such as adequate drainage systems, levees, and relevant dams.

“Long-term solutions require proper and comprehensive urban planning and land-use management policies to prevent unchecked development in flood-prone areas.

“This involves enforcing zoning regulations, relocating vulnerable communities to safer areas, and preserving natural floodplains to absorb excess water during heavy rainfall,” Mamedu stated.

ActionAid Nigeria demanded that both the federal and state governments must prioritise disaster preparedness and allocate resources urgently.

Mamedu also added that such includes establishing identified locations where Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) can live temporarily.

He further emphasized on the need that such centres locations must not be schools or health care centres.

While urging the government to provide the people with dignity kits, food supplies, non-food items, and cash assistance, he also charges the state governments to implement measures to protect smallholder women farmers affected by flood.

He emphasised that the Ministry of Education and Health must promptly develop and implement comprehensive plans to ensure continued access to education and healthcare services, especially for women and children.

He called on the Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA) to collaborate with the National Orientation Agency to ensure that messages reach communities at the grassroots level.

“The federal government cannot afford to be complacent in the face of this impending crisis.”

He pledges the organisation’s readiness to support and collaborate with government agencies, humanitarian organisations, and other stakeholders to ensure the safety and well-being of all Nigerians.

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