The Nigerian government has launched an automated web-based Early Warning System (EWS), which could be used in dealing with the destructive effects of persistent flooding in the country. This is an effort to combat the adverse effect of climate change for sustainable development, food security, and the well being of the people.
The system was developed by the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It is designed to forewarn Nigerians on the likelihood of flooding, thereby providing effective solution that would enhance the operations of relevant institutions and also reduce the rate of damage caused by flood.
Launching the project on Tuesday in Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, said that “the global climate change has brought about increased disastrous flood occasioned by torrential rainfall and rise in river and sea levels.” He said however, the international community was strategizing to ensure that the effects were largely contained on a long term basis.
Anyim regretted that “several urban areas in Nigeria have experienced disturbing human, physical and economic devastation brought about by flood in recent times. The annual flooding experienced in most part of the country have caused agonizing human suffering and the destruction of residential, agricultural, huge economic and industrial resources.”
He also blamed flood disasters on “the quest for development without adequate knowledge of the negative consequences of unwholesome human activities.”
Anyim added that “uncontrolled urban and rural development with inadequate provision or blockage of drainage and canals with solid wastes, soil sediments, unplanned and informal settlements along river flood plains also contribute to flooding.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, said that the recent floods and their devastating effect on lives and property in the country, especially in Lagos, Kano and Katsina, had brought to bear, the need to put in operation effective flood management strategies.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Daouda Toure, said that the annual increasing incidences of flooding had contributed to huge economic looses, loss of lives and destruction of properties worth billions of Naira and displacement of people.
He noted that the automated Web-Based Early Warning System would help save numerous lives and properties and provide a solid framework for the effective management of floods in the country.