The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, 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 and has called on state governments to begin evacuation of persons living along water channels and other areas obstructing the flow of water.
Farouq stated this during 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.
Farouq noted that despite concerted efforts to avert the consequences of the 2022 flooding season as forecast by the Nigerian Metrological Agency, many state governments did not make preparations for the floods. She said that as a result, the toll of lives lost and property damaged has risen astronomically.
She said “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, and on the whole, 2,407 persons have been injured, a total of 82,053 houses are completely damaged and 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.
“While we mourn the unfortunate boat mishap in Anambra State and other locations, please we must note that we are not completely out of the woods because the Metrological Agencies are warning that States like Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers, and Bayelsa are still at risk of experiencing floods up till the end of November”
However, the ministry has set up high-powered delegators to visit State Governors to advocate more commitment to strengthening states’ response mechanisms as stipulated in the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.
The Stakeholders are expected to work within their respective mandates to prevent deaths due to flooding or other health-related diseases that may arise.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of 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.
Also, the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan will soon be implemented for better coordination of flood response protocol, as well as a sectoral approach to flood management at the National and Sub-National levels.
Furthermore, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed during the briefing stated that almost all 36 states and the FCT have received food and nonfood items to mitigate various forms of the disaster.
He said “Information stating that the federal government’s presence is not in the states affected by the flood is false. We are in every state of the federation.
Relief has gone to every state of the federation and we thank the Commander in Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Honorable Minister. We will continue to do our best to provide for the country.”
At the briefing also was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Dr. Nasir Sani Gwarzo, Heads of the Agencies, and Directors of the Ministry.