Nigerian Government on Thursday inaugurated the Presidential Committee for the Development of a Comprehensive Plan of Action for Preventing flood disaster in the country.
It may be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu to fashion out ways to prevent flood disaster in Nigeria within 90 days.
Adamu said it was no longer news that the recent 2022 floods had thrown several communities into hardship, submerged homes, and destroyed properties estimated at billions of Naira.
According to him, flooding incidences in Nigeria have been caused mainly by overflow of silted rivers and poor drainage systems from localised rainfalls, generating flash flooding in urban areas.
“The members of the Presidential Committee being inaugurated today are seasoned professionals and bureaucrats who have been selected from across the MDAs, States and Professional Organisations.
“You have been adjudged to have, in one way or the other, contributed immensely to the Water Resources, Environmental, Agricultural and other Sectors of the Country.
“I urge you therefore, to consider your nomination to membership of this Committee as a privilege and another opportunity to serve and contribute towards safeguarding the lives and well-being of our fellow citizens that otherwise would be vulnerable to the devastating effects of flood in the future.
“ While I congratulate you on your appointments, let me urge you to be guided by the following Terms of Reference in order to achieve a wholistic solution to the challenges of flood in the country as directed by Mr President.’’
He however urged the committee members to see their nomination as an opportunity to serve and contribute towards safeguarding the lives and well-being of citizens on the devastating effects of floods.
Goodwill messages were given by Ministers of Health, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
He said the state was deliberating on using excess water from flooding for hydropower generation, saying the formation of the committee was timely.
Dr Hassan Abdullahi, Environment Minister, said human activities had caused flooding, saying there was need for states to adhere to early warning signals.
He also urged states to be strict in enforcing building approvals, so as to end indiscriminate practice of building on flood plains.
Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, said the impact of climate change on humans and the environment had been predicted to get worse in coming years, following the rise in global temperature.
He said the impact of flooding on the health sector could be seen in rise in water-borne diseases, saying the committee must proffer solutions towards health promotion and disease prevention.
The Steering committee members include; Ministers of Health, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Transport, Works and Housing, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and their permanent secretaries.
Others are; Representatives of Jigawa, Adamawa, Anambra, Ogun, Bayelsa and Kogi state governments.
The Technical Working Group includes; D-Gs of National Water Resources Institute, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Representatives of Nigeria Society of Engineers and Nigerian Academy of Engineering, among others.