Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, has called on government and non-government bodies to urgently implement strategies to prevent loss of life and property to flood as the rainy season peaks in many parts of the country.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Yomi Odunuga, in Abuja on Wednesday, Omo-Agege expressed concerns about the implications of the 2019 flood warnings issued by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
Omo-Agege said that early flood prevention measures must be urgently undertaken to avoid disastrous consequences.
He said that there was the need for a serious sensitisation and other preventive measures, rather than resorting to condolence messages after the occurrence of avoidable disasters.
According to him, NIHSA, the Federal and State governments may need to tackle likely re-occurrence of deaths and displacement through flooding in several parts of the country.
“NIHSA’s 2019 flood warnings indicate that there is a crucial need for adequate early flood prevention measures, mitigation and preparedness by agencies of both federal and state governments.
“It also indicates that coastal states like Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ondo State and Rivers, are likely to experience heavy flooding, due to a rise in sea level and tidal surge.
“Indeed, severe flooding has commenced in several parts of the country, causing loss of lives and property, but if appropriate and early preventive measures are not implemented on time, things could get out of hands.
” This could lead to high records of deaths, destroyed property, family displacement, disease outbreaks, agro-economic downturn and other effects associated with flooding.
“In accordance with this warning, all state and federal government agencies, non-governmental organisations and all others that can play positive roles in mass sensitisation and other relevant activities should begin early flood preventive measures,” he said.
Omo-Agege, however, called on people living in flood-prone communities to heed government flood warnings and be prepared to evacuate once such directives are given by emergency management authorities and other relevant agencies.