Flood Warning: Imo Listed Among States At Risk; Need for Preventive Measures

Imo State was recently listed among states that are at risk of being hit by flooding this year. The warning was released by the meteorological agency saddled with the responsibility of forecasting weather conditions in the country.

Considering the harrowing experience and/or devastating effects of flooding in the past, it is only advisable that the recent warning be taken seriously.

In the past few years, many Imolites, and indeed Nigerians have had their homes, property, schools, roads, hospitals and farms worth billions of naira, completely destroyed by flooding.

Several factors are responsible for this near-yearly disaster. Apart from the fact that some communities in the state live in riverine areas, which renders them susceptible to flooding, there is also the factor of uncalled-for human activities that predispose cities, towns and villages to flood disasters.

The wrong practice of dumping refuse inside the drainages or water channels, remains a risk factor.  Flooding can occur  when the drainages are stuffed up with garbage or refuse, as it is the case with a good number of drainages in the capital city of Owerri at the moment.

There is also the factor of people erecting structures on waterways. When these waterways are blocked by virtue of structures erected on them, flood easily finds its way into residential areas, causing severe damages.

This explains why the state government should intensify efforts at de-silting the drainages and channels as well as raising awareness of citizens against such practices that render the environment susceptible to flooding.

Another issue that seriously needs to be addressed by the federal government, is the reported periodic release of water from dams in neighbouring Cameroon; a practice that is reported to often increase the volume of water coming from the Benue River. The Benue River or River Benue, forms confluence with the River Niger at Lokoja in Kogi State, from where they become one river and continues flowing down to Edo, Delta, Anambra, Rivers State, among others.

Experience has shown that the practice often leads to flooding in several states that either have direct access to the River Niger or River Benue, or those that have rivers that empty into the River Niger.

Imo State is one of the states often affected by flooding resulting from this kind of development as the state is connected to the Niger via  the Orashi River Ohaji, Egbema and Oguta areas have often been ravaged by flood resulting from the developments within the Niger River.

The federal government is expected to take urgent steps to address the issue of flooding that often arise from the said  release of water from Cameroonian dams.

States on their own, should do the needful by ensuring that drainages and waterways are cleared and kept free at all times. This should be done even in the rural communities.

There is need for early warnings to residents of areas especially, riverine communities, to evacuate anytime their communities are faced with imminent danger of flooding.


Related posts