Flood threatens future civilization, AYGF raises alarm
… seeks sustainable response to flood victims
African Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF), on Thursday, raised alarm over the worsening living conditions of endangered flood victims in Nigeria, saying flood is a major threat to future civilization and the survival of citizens.
The group called on political leaders to stop playing politics on flood victims and educate Nigerians living around the rivers banks on the dangers of building and living on flood-prone areas.
The Executive Director of AYGF, Dr Arome Salifu, stated this at the press briefing, in Abuja, and said that the river should be dredged feet lower to prevent the water from overflowing its banks at the slightest opportunity.
He said: “The negative impact of climate change on our society and general well-being including Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. It has become a major threat to our present and future civilization and survival.
“Flooding in many parts of the world in recent times has led to several deaths, millions displaced, infrastructures and farms washed away, bringing to a total stop daily living routines of the people including stopping education, jobs and many socio-economic engagements.
“It is disheartening that communities across 33 out of the 36 States including FCT in Nigeria have been systematically cut off from each other because of the unfortunate flooding that took place in these States between September and October 2022 as a result of a heavy downpours and major overflowing of River Banks as a result of the opening of the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.
“Over 160 communities in Kogi State and 300 communities in Bayelsa State were submerged, a land space cannot be sited in most communities in Delta State all of these have resulted in a number of deaths and the displacement of over 2.5 million people in IDP camps, huge rise in the number of reported cholera cases, malaria and other waterborne diseases according to UNICEF.
“The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also affirms over 7,750 recorded cholera cases across 31 out of 35 States in Nigeria and still counting with the likelihood of many deaths in days and weeks to come if no significant response.”
He calls on governments at all levels, and other stakeholders to provide emergency humanitarian relief support services to flood victims across different IDP Camps in affected States.
According to him, “Government should put in place adequate early warning and response system through better weather monitoring and build institutional capacity to evacuate and respond to such major emergencies including swift and timely evacuation.
“Government should follow up duly on the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon as that was one of the major causes of the overflowing banks and make plans to locate and construct a similar dam in Nigeria to regulate and manage the flood while taking advantage of the agricultural, industrial and technological opportunities and advantages that could come with such landmark hydro infrastructure.
“Government should build and fortify good drainage systems in the affected states while urging the people to take responsibility for protecting their environment by maintaining the drainage channels and be informed that the drainage systems are not for refuse dumps or building of houses.”