Create flood management council, committee tells FG

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Photo: Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources and Chairman, Presidential Committee for the Development of a Comprehensive Plan of Action for preventing flood disaster, alongside other members of the committee during the media briefing on Monday in Abuja.

The Presidential Committee for the Development of a Comprehensive Plan of Action for preventing flood disaster, on Monday recommended the creation of a National Flood Management Council in the country.

At a media briefing hosted by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in Abuja, the committee recommended that the vice president is to chair the council.

Presenting the committee’s report, its Chairman and Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, said the proposed council would coordinate flood management activities in the country.

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According to the Minister, the council will advise the President on all issues pertaining to flood management, including the declaration of State of Emergency based on flood categorisation.

Adamu said presently, no centrally coordinated mechanism was available for flood mitigation, adaptation, response, and recovery in the country.

He however noted the need for an institutional arrangement for the coordination and implementation of the Strategic Plan through a relief fund from alternative sources.

He said flooding was the most common and expensive natural disaster in the world, adding that mitigation projects, which encompassed a range of preventive solutions, were the most cost-effective strategy for decreasing flood risk.

“Federal, State and Local Governments have not invested adequately in flood management infrastructure; instead, they invest on post-disaster projects.

“The large amount of financial investment required to implement flood management schemes is often regarded as a major constraint.

“We are recommending the establishment of a National Flood Management Council (NFMC) and a sustainable funding mechanism called the Flood Management Fund.”

He noted that the fund would be a relief fund that would be done in a coordinated manner and well managed, and not one that would be done temporarily.

He said there were no short term measures to floods, but only early warning measures, adding that with the council on board, it would help to reduce flood disasters and emergencies.

Adamu said sustainable funding strategy for flood mitigation and management was important, saying it must have long-term plans, such as from the annual budgets by the three tiers of government.

“There are variety of funding sources like the Special Intervention Fund, Ecological Fund, Natural Resources Development Fund and the Carbon Tax”.

The minister stressed the need to review all legislations and enforce regulations, gudelines and codes guiding construction along flood plains.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that following the 2022 Flood disaster, President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, to fashion out ways to prevent flood disaster in Nigeria within 90 days.

This, he said, led to the formal inauguration of the Presidential Committee for the Development of a Comprehensive Plan of Action for Preventing flood disaster in the country in November 2022.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency, 363 lives were lost, 5,851 injured; 3,891,314 affected, and 3,871,530 displaced due to the resulting floods in 2012.

Reports have shown that in 2022 flood, over 1.4 million people have been displaced, 665 reported dead and thousands injured.

According to the World Bank, economic damage to residential and non-residential buildings, infrastructure, productive sector and farmland in 2012 was 7.3 billion dollars.

In 2022, damage from floods was estimated to be 6.68 billion dollars.

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