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The FCT Floods and Emerging Trends

The recent widespread floods in the FCT and surrounding areas is not unconnected with the manifestation of global climate change phenomenon which was never envisaged at the time the Abuja Master Plan was produced. The data used for the Master Plan’s preparation was the FCT ecological survey conducted in 1977.

Unfortunately, from the early 70’s, the whole of Northern Nigeria was experiencing dry spell. Specifically, 1977 was among the drought years in the Northern region. That was the conclusion of a 1988 ABU B.Sc. research by this columnist, with the tittle “A Derived Drought Index for Northern Nigeria”.

The data used for the research were collected from 1927 to 1983. The same work was published in “Samaru J. Agric Research” in 1992 and “Zaria Geographer” in 1993, by Oladipo E. O. and Shuaibu U, the columnist. According to the data of the 70’s, the Master Plan captured raining season for the City site, between the mid-April and mid-October. Contrarily, due to Climate Change, rainfall commences earlier, and lasts longer than these periods.

Also, there is no deviation from the concentration of rainfall in the 3 months of July, August and September when 60 percent of the annual rainfall is received. However, there is increase in the intensity and the total amount received. The amount of rain which should fall within a span of one month can be concentrated in few hours, resulting to flash floods. A lot of places considered safe are washed away overnight. Rivers and stream channels overflow their banks, wiping out homes and farms. Structural fabrics of buildings are weakened leading to the devastating incidences of building collapse.

The data used for predictions are now superseded by the emerging trends. Flood mitigation measures proposed in the Master Plan are rendered inadequate, due to the higher amount of rainfall received. Engineering specifications, such as widths of drainage channels, sizes of bridges and culverts, and demarcations of areas liable to flooding while creation of new layouts by the Town Planners, becomes outdated and needs to be reviewed.

Meanwhile, proposal was made for hundred years flood regime to provide buffer zones for floods control along the stream channels traversing across the Capital City. Unfortunately, this provision is abused in various construction sites across the City.

The abuse could arise from the point of creating the layout and allocation, because previously the notion of land bank was advanced to justify the conversion of some of the flood plains for residential uses. Abuse can also be made while granting building plans approval. On the other hand developers most especially, Mass Housing have the habits of development beyond the boundaries approved by the Development Control. In Abuja, 472.2mm of rainfall was recorded between 19th July and 8th August 2019, with 226mm between the morning hours of 25th and the morning hours of 26th July alone.

Thus, more than 50 percent of the total rainfall recorded in the previous year, fell in 20 days, with 24 percent within a space of 24 hours alone. That culminated to the flash floods at Lokogoma, Galadimawa, Kafe and many other Districts in the City. It led to destruction of properties and lives, and rendered families homeless. Runoff in stream channels that were very narrow and considered inconsequential, rapidly rose overnight and within few hours to the sizes of humongous rivers, flowing forcefully downstream. It must be understood that urban floods can never be stopped and water can go from harmless to fatal in no time.

However, the strategies required for adequate mitigation of the adverse consequences of urban floods are not large engineering solutions, but more on good land-use planning and stewardship. “We just need to move the water through our community quickly, with as little damage as possible.” This observation was made by David Driskell, the Executive Director for community planning and sustainability of Boulder in the District of Colorado.

The Big Thompson flood, the deadliest in Colorado history occurred in July 1976. Up to 14 inches or 356mm of rain, fell within 4 hours, and the Big Thompson River Canyon, just a short drive north of Boulder, swelled from 18 inches to 20 feet within minutes. The 31,000 cubic feet of water per second that raced down the canyon took 143 lives, washing some of the bodies 25 miles downstream.

Measures for mitigating such a disaster may appear daunting. However, Gilbert White a pioneer in the field of urban flood planning believes that cities should accommodate floods, rather than holding them in dams and embankments. Also, “Floods are acts of God, but flood losses are largely acts of man”. White provided the guide that pushed Boulder to adapt to the floods of the future, and it escaped disaster, without a single life lost from a bigger flood in September 2013.

What we need are studies and analyses of the flood patterns of our stream channels across the city and the implementation of floods adaptation measures for the mitigation of future occurrence akin to Boulder’s. Also, not putting stuff where they shouldn’t be.

Source: Dailytustng

More Abuja Properties Risk Flood

Properties worth millions of Naira in Abuja are at risk of being destroyed again by severe flooding. The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency last week warned that the country would experience severe flooding in the coming weeks.

According to the agency’s Director General, Clement Eze, in a press briefing in Abuja, the localised urban flooding incidents being witnessed in some cities and communities in the country, “are expected to continue due to high rainfall intensity of long duration, rainstorms, blockage of drainage system and poor urban planning resulting in erection of structures within the floodplains and waterways.”

The latest warning by the agency came as a follow up to its 2019 Annual Flood Outlook released earlier in the year where it placed 15 states including Abuja on the red alert, asking residents in these states to get prepared for massive flooding. “River flooding as well as coastal flooding is expected to come into place as the nation approaches the peak of the rainy season,” the agency said in the Flood Outlook.

This year’s flood, the agency had said, could be catastrophic because “flood from the upper reaches of the Niger Basin comprising Guinea, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Chad and Cameroon will be coming to Nigeria in about a month’s time (September).”

In Abuja, reports shows that most places in the six area councils have been witnessing varying degrees of flooding which have led to loss of properties worth millions of Naira. Flash floods at Lokogoma and Galadimawa have led to destruction of properties and rendered families homeless. Over 100 houses on flood plain areas have been marked for demolition by the FCT authorities. More buildings would have to go to pave way for the water, it was gatthered.

The central parts of Abuja, particularly the Central Business District (CBD), Utako, Jabi, among others were not spared of torrential rainfall resulting to flash floods that have led to disruption of vehicular movement  and commercial activities as well as causing gradual deterioration of major roads within the areas. This is even as the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned residents of Kubwa, Gwagwa-Karimo, Kuje, Airport Road and Gwagwalada to be wary of possible flooding. According to FEMA, torrential rainfall had increased the water level at the Usuma Dam and spilled into the Usuma River Channel.

“The situation is scary; FEMA is advising residents of the listed settlements to be wary of possible flooding. “They should also observe simple precautions because not all floods are alike. Some develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days. But flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a minute and without any visible signs of rain,” the agency said recently. Some residents of flood-prone areas across the city are now living in fear over the possibility of flood when it rains.

Daily Trust reports that greater threats of further occurrence of flood in the coming weeks as alerted by flood forecast agencies have given serious cause for concern, especially to FCT authorities on whose shoulders the responsibility of prevention, response and mitigation lies. Findings show that despite the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) aggressive flood awareness campaign across the six area councils, indiscriminate refuse disposal, building on water ways and blockage of drainages, among other acts, continue to obstruct the free flow of water when it rains.

As part of strategies put in place to save people and properties from the impending disaster, the Director, FCT Department of Development Control, Mal. Muktar Galadima,  said the agency is set to create a flood map within the FCT master plan that points out flood plain areas in the territory.

Speaking with Daily Trust on the matter, Galadima said that if a developer doesnt comply with a building approval plan given to him by the agency by encroaching into a flood plain area, the consequence of the violation will be the removal of the structure. Galadima also called on FCT residents particularly those that have their houses on flood plain areas to be wary because such areas shouldn’t be inhabited.

“Anybody who builds his structure on the surface of a flood plain area and it has been certified that there wasn’t any approval of that structure, the building will definitely be removed” he said. “Before you plan a building structure, you have to do what is called site assessment so that you will identify those areas of constraints such as these flood prone areas and nobody will be allowed to build any structure on it,” he said. Also speaking, the Director, FEMA, Mallam Abass Idris, told Daily trust that structures shouldn’t be built on water channels, adding that it could easily lead to collapse.

Source: Dailytrust

2,667 Houses, Farmlands Destroyed by Flood in Niger – NSEMA

No fewer than 2,667 houses, farmlands, roads, and bridges have been destroyed by flooding in 17 local government areas in Niger State.

Alhaji Ahmed Inga, the Director-General of Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Thursday.

He said that most of the buildings, roads, and bridges were completely washed away by flooding across the 17 local government areas. Inga said that poultries, culverts, primary schools, clinics, fish ponds, and health facilities were also affected.

He said that the incidents occurred between August and September, adding that the agency was still receiving more reports on the flood incidents.

He said some of the affected local government areas were Rafi, Gurara, Paikoro, Suleja, Agaie, Katcha, Kontagora, Gbako, and Shiroro. Other affected areas include Bosso, Chanchaga, Mashegu, Edati, Lavun, Lapai and Mokwa.

The director-general added that the report on the incident had been submitted to the governor to provide palliative support to the affected persons.

Source; pmnewsnigeriang

Three Buildings Collapse As Flood Ravage Parts Of Lokoja

Three buildings have collapsed as flood ravaged parts of Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Sanusi Yahaya, while confirming this in Lokoja on Thursday, said that persistent downpour of the past few days led to the floods.

He said that the water level in River Niger had been increasing in the past two weeks and that the water had reached 9.48 metres.

He said that houses along the River Niger bank in Lokoja had been ravaged by floods, and occupants evacuated to safety.

He said that no life was lost.

According to him: “Three houses, including a two-storey building have been submerged in Lokoja, while a bridge was also washed away in Igalamela Local Government Area.

”There is the likelihood of flood occurrence in some parts of the state. The flood prediction is coming to pass”.

He directed those living along the river bank and flood paths, to relocate immediately to avoid being washed away.

He called on the stakeholder, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Red Cross, Navy, civil defence, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), among others, to brace up and join hands with the state government to confront foreseeable disaster.

“What the stakeholders need to do urgently is to revive strategies deployed in 2018 and improve some areas as there is no more time to waste,” he admonished.

Mr Bitrus Samuel, Head, Abuja Operation Office of NEMA, said that the meeting was called to appraise the level of preparedness and early response strategies put in place by stakeholders.

He said that the rising trend of level of water in River Niger and prolonged heavy rainfall had made flooding inevitable, saying that all hands must be on deck to confront it.

Bitrus, who was represented by Mr. Shola Babatunde, Assistant Head, NEMA, Abuja Operation Office, called for a well articulated programme to educate and sensitise members of the public.

He said that this was necessary to reduce the disaster impact, especially the magnitude of human and economic losses.

”It is sensible to be proactive, based on past experiences, to take great steps in manning and preparing to respond to them in a coordinated and integrated manner,” he said.

Source: kogireports

Flood Turns Landlords To Tenants in Calabar

A heavy downpour on Wednesday turned many Landlords to tenants in the city of calabar, Cross River state. Report has it that not fewer than six houses and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed by the heavy rainfall at Nyagasang community in Atimbo area of Calabar Municipality.

The houses, which were brought down after a heavy down pour that fell on Sept. 10 and 11,were close to a ravine that has eaten deeply into the community and most part of the area eroded by flood,land slide. It was gathered that aside the buildings that were completely brought down, over 20 buildings in the area were also under threat of possible destruction.

One of the victims, Mr Asuquo Akpan, told Vanguard that the heavy down pour caused havoc in the area, polling down houses and forcing the occupants to leave for safety. According to Akpan, over 100 residents in the area have been displaced from their ancestral homes following incident.

His words : “As you can see, all these building were standing here. This gully site has eaten deep into this area and is beginning to fall down houses. “We have been continuously calling on governments and the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) to come to our aid.

“As you can see, we are in danger. Some of the landlords are now tenants. We are appealing to government in tears to help us. “We have written severally to the state government and NEWMAP and we were told that the gully will be addressed in phase 2 but we dont know how long that will take,” he said. Another victim, Mr Umoh Etim, who said he has lived in the area for over 30 years, said there was no ravine in the area at the early stage of building.

According to him, when the ravine started building up, the community had to plant bamboo trees to curb the widening of the ravine. He bemoaned that properties worth millions of naira have been lost due to the destruction, thereby appealing for help from government and relevant agencies.

On his part ,the Acting Director General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr Princewill Ayim, who assessed the extent of destruction, said no life was lost during the incident. Ayim, said that the assessment would be sent to the zonal office of the National Emergency Management Agency for transmission to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja for prompt response. He said that the agency had held several advocacy and sensitisation programmes and enlightening the public not to build along water channels.

Ayim advised those living along the water Channels to move to higher grounds for their safety “From what we have seen, the buildings were standing on the ravine. Its unfortunate that this has happened; I will inform NEMA for necessary actions,” he said.

Source: Vanguard

Abia to Partner World Bank to Tackle Flooding in Aba

Abia government has announced collaborative plans with the World Bank to check the flood ravaging Aba, the commercial centre of the state. Abia State Coordinator, Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Mr Izuchukwu Onwughara made this known in Aba while speaking with Newsmen.

Onwughara said that the World Bank had mapped out some of the flooding sites that posed the highest danger to the city to tackle.

He said Obohia roads such as  Uratta axis, Ngwa road and some parts of Port Harcourt road would be tackled in the first phase, while Omuma road and Ohanku road would feature in the second phase.

Onwughara said the projects would be substantially funded by the World Bank with Abia government providing counterpart funding to partner in the project to manage flooding in Aba. The coordinator, who said the project whose duration “is 30 months, will commence by October’’. “We are at very last leg of the preparation of the project in 2019, a lot of consultants came in to do some socioeconomic studies, we did the environmental and social management, we did the resettlement action plan for a project of such magnitude

. “The entire soil investigation has been done; we prepared a design that is of world class standard deploying best practices globally. “The designs have gone through layers of approval from here to Washington and came out cleared. “The job is too big so we’ve split it into two units; we will start with Uratta and Umuagbai and this will cover sections of Port Harcourt, Obohia roads and it will be taken down to Ngwa road. “The advert has been done to pick contractors that will do this project, the valuation of the bids has been concluded and the reports have been forwarded to the World Bank.

“This month, September, we are awaiting their “no objection” response to the report to show it is okay. “We are using this period to sensitise our people to prepare and get ready for the project. “Everyone along the corridors of this project have been consulted and we call on everyone to cooperate with us on this,” he said. Onwughara said that by October the contract for the project would awarded to ensure it took off accordingly.

He called on the residents of Aba to see the project as their own and to give the project handlers their maximum cooperation to ensure its realisation. He said the project was devoid of political interferences because the World Bank was investing heavily in it and would want not to see its funds “go down the drain’’. He said the World Bank worked with the procurement team to ensure global best practices were adopted to make the project successful. He stressed that every step of the project passed through the bank’s approval which resulted in an acceptable bid document after a rigorous process.

“Let me give you some of the contents; for instance, we want a cash flow of up to N3.6 billion for any contractor that will be able to bid for this project. “We want an annual turnover of eight million dollars for the past five years for any contractor that will bid for the project. “We want evidence of two similar projects in the past five years executed by such a contractor. “That advert was on for three months, but only 14 contractors were able to return our bid; about 26 contractors picked our forms and the criteria separated the boys from the men.

“At the day of returning of the bid, we found out that even three were deficient because you have to provide a bid security of seven million naira and people who don’t want to take that risk didn’t come,” he said. He said the project was being assisted by the Nigeria Society of Engineers and procurement consultants from outside Abia did a thorough evaluation of the bid. He said that the bid evaluation report had been the World Bank, adding that the bank was not taking the project lightly and could not allow it to be infiltrated by politicians.

Source: vanguardngr

Flood Destroys 250 Houses in Jigawa

Flooding, caused by days of heavy downpour has destroyed no fewer than 250 houses in Karanka and Diginsa towns in Birniwa Local Government area of Jigawa.

Alhaji Abdullahi Yakubu, the Information Officer in the area, told the Newsmen in Birniwa that the incident occurred on Aug. 27.

He said that the Birniwa Local Government Council Chairman, Alhaji Mohammad Jaji-Dole, had visited the affected towns for on the spot assessment of the damage.

Yakubu said Jaji-Dole had implored the counsellors representing the areas to forward to him the number of displaced persons for support.

The chairman prayed to God to give the victims the fortitude to bear the loss and called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to them.

The information officer said that the village head of Karanka, Alhaji Abdu Bulama, had earlier called on the council to construct drains to prevent future flooding in the area.

According to him, Bulama blamed the flooding partly on lack of drains, saying the flooding could have been averted if drains were constructed.

“The chairman said that the plea would be looked into,” he said.

Flood: Edo Urges Residents in Riverine Areas to Move to Safe Havens

The Edo State Government has issued a warning to residents living in flood-prone riverine communities to move upland and take refuge in safe havens that have been provided in selected local government areas across the state.

In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Hon. Yakubu Gowon, in Benin City, said: “This is to alert people living around river banks and riverine areas across Edo State that water levels are rising as a result of heavy downpour.”

He added, “Government has prepared the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IGP) camps for possible evacuation of residents living in these areas. They should be ready to relocate to the camps when the order is given by the government.”

The governor’s aide urged members of the public to take precautionary measures to forestall incidents that may arise from increased water levels, urging them to: “Stop dumping refuse indiscriminately, avoid building on low plains and waterways, stop erecting structures on the moat and don’t engage in excavation of any kind without government approval.”

In the past, the Edo State government identified riverine communities in Ikpoba-Okha, Ovia North -East, Esan South-East, Estako Central and Etsako East local councils as areas prone to flooding.

Recall that the Edo State Government distributed relief materials to victims of the recent flood disaster which affected three communities in Orhionmwon LGA.

Recent flooding in the council area affected Umoghun-zuagbor, Obozogbe-nugu and Evbonogbon communities.

The state government distributed relief items to affected communities to cushion the effect of the flooding. Some of the items distributed included 20 bags of rice; 20 bags of beans; 20 gallons of red oil; 20 gallons of vegetable oil and 105 bundles of roofing sheets.

Other materials distributed were 42 bags of 3-inch nails; 42 bags of 4-inch nails and 42 packs of zinc nails.

Source: businessdayng

Heavy Downpour Destroy 100 Houses in Buhari’s Daura Hometown

KATSINA – An early hours and heavy downpour which lasted for many hours have on Sunday destroyed at least 100 houses in President Muhammadu Buhari’s hometown, Daura in Katsina state.

It was gathered that no life was lost in the heavy downpour which led to the collapse of many houses and their walls. Some areas affected include Kalgo, Rahmawa, Bayan Motel, Lungun Kofar Baru and Sarkin Yara A ward (Unguwan Kaura), Buhari’s polling unit ward among others.

A source in the area said in Kalgo about 50 houses were destroyed by the heavy downpour while others recorded similar losses.

“it was a heavy downpour. It started as early as 7 am on Sunday morning. It rains continuously and the town is cloudy as I speak with you. “It has destroyed many houses, about 100. In Kalgo, 50 houses while it was the same in other areas,” the source said.

The source continued when he said, “we called on all appropriate authorities to as a matter of urgency come to the affected person’s aid with immediate interventions to cater for them.”

Source: Vanguard

Lagos Directs LGs to Begin Biometric Capturing of Residents in Flood-Prone Areas

The Lagos State Government has directed Local Governments in the state to begin biometric capturing of residents in their domains living in flood-prone areas.

Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said this became necessary to adequately ensure their safety during heavy rains.

Speaking during a Road Show on Flood Awareness Campaign, organised to strengthening the Local Emergency Management Committee on disaster management, the DG said the biometric capturing would also help the state government to plan ahead for conducive relief camps in case of any emergency.

He urged those living in flood-prone areas to avail themselves for the biometrics in their local governments and clean their environment against flood.

“The essence of the biometric is to ensure that we have data in place so that we will know the numbers of our citizens that are vulnerable to flood and we can be able to ensure their safety,” he said.

Oke-Osanyintolu added that government had put in measures to ameliorate the situation of flooding whenever it arose, as he urged residents to be responsible for their lives.

According to Oke-Osanyintolu, the sensitization campaign was necessary to educate Lagos residents on the danger inherent in blocking waterways and drainages across the State.

The LASEMA boss said the present administration in the State was not taking the prediction of heavy flood by the Nigerian Metrological Agency NIMET for granted, hence the need for proactive steps to combat it whenever it occurred in Lagos with assurance that all hands were on deck in the agency and other stakeholders.

He said: “Today is another critical milestone in Lagos State after predictions of NIMET that we are vulnerable to flood. We want to sensitise the citizens of Lagos on how to well prepared and mitigate flood in the State. The administration of Governor Sanwo-Olu has placed safety of lives and properties paramount as one of his agendas and we need to ensure safety of our people and liase with all key stakeholders that manage emergency in Lagos State to achieve this.”

Disaster management agencies which took part in the road show were the Red Cross, Nigeria Immigration, Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Lagos State Task Force, Nigerian Civil Defence and the Nigerian Police.

The agencies moved from Alausa to Ketu-Ikosi, Ojodu, Ifako Ijaiye and Ikeja sensitising residents on the need to be adequately prepared for the rainy season.

Source: pmnewsnigeria

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