NHSA suggests flood risk management, mitigation strategies for Nigeria

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Dr Moses Beckley, Director-General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, says lack of inter-disciplinary approach and collaboration were impediments to effective flood mitigation in Nigeria.

Beckley made the assertion in Lagos at a Symposium organised by the Nigerian Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (NAEGE), Lagos Chapter.

The theme of the Symposium was: “Flood Control & Mitigation: Critical Appraisal of a Typical Lagoonal City.’’

Beckley, a Lead Speaker at the programme, said that flooding was a multi-disciplinary global issue that required government, stakeholders and multi-professional collaboration to proffer lasting solutions.

He said that the severe impact of floods, whether it happened as a result of climate change or otherwise, were most likely to be in urban areas where people, resources and infrastructure were concentrated.

According to him, Lagos as a typical lagoonal city is constantly affected by flood, particularly during the rainy season, saying that positive mitigation measures should be readily available.

Scientists predict that increases in average temperature and frequency of storm and flood events may induce even greater impact upon cities, especially those located proximal to the lagoon, riverbanks, in river catchments or along the sea coast.

Although Lagos is naturally flooded during the wet season, the flooding is worsened by human activity and the subsidence induced by physical development.

“For many of us, flooding is no longer an emergency. It becomes a common disaster that must be taken account of in our development planning.

“The flood that we experience are mostly the negative aspect of unplanned development and this is leading to increased exposure of people to hazards and vulnerability.

“So, the concept of the safer city is encouraging for returns on long-term investments, business continuity and public safety,’’ Beckley said.