11 October 2018

Nigeria: Flooding - Senate Urges Water Ministry to Rehabilitate Dams, Dredge Waterways

The Senate has called on the Ministry of Water Resources to rehabilitate Nigerian dams and dredge waterways to be able to take in flood waters.

The call was sequel to a motion on the recent flooding across the country, sponsored by Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South) and 107 other senators.

The number of senators who sponsored the motion essentially means it was sponsored by all the lawmakers except one as there are 109 senators.

This is one motion which was anticipated as Nigerians who have been affected by the flooding have called on the authorities to come to their aid.

The lawmakers also resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee comprising chairpersons and vice chairpersons of the Senate committees on Ecology and water resources to come up with a lasting solution to the issue of flooding.

Leading the debate, Mr Gaya noted that the recent floods across the country have claimed hundreds of lives and damaged thousands of homes.

Over the past few months, floods have ravaged many communities. Some of the affected states include Kogi, Niger, Anambra, Delta and Taraba.

Others are Kebbi, Edo, Rivers, Benue, Bayelsa and Kwara states.

Flooding in communities in these states prompted the National Emergency Management Agency to declare National Disaster in the states.

Mr Gaya stated that in the last three decades, the impacts of flooding have increasingly assumed significant to threatening proportions, resulting in loss of lives and properties.

"Apart from houses (built with mud brick, traditional building materials of the area and those not built with modern flood resistant structure) that collapse by flooding, schools, buildings and bridges sometimes collapse as well. Market places and farmlands are submerged for weeks and sometimes are washed away;

"These flood disasters have worsened the crises of internally displaced persons. These perennial floods have over the years caused widespread and irreparable damage to the various ecosystems along the impacted areas, with some flora and fauna lost forever, and also introduced several strange vegetation that not only choke native flora, but are usually difficult to control," he said.

The lawmakers took turns to contribute to the motion.

The Senate then urged the "National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to send relief materials to the affected victims in Kano and other states of the federation." It also commended "NEMA and other relevant agencies, organisations and individuals whose efforts in creating awareness has led to reduction in casualty level."

It also urged the federal government, in collaboration with the Cameroonian government, to convene a Stakeholders meeting to ex-ray the recurring situation with the view to proffering a lasting solution to flood disasters.

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