By Ignatius Okorocha
With detailed statistics of the impact of 2018 flood on urban dwellers yet to be computed, Nigerians in rural communities in 34 states are believed to have lost property worth N2.5trillion in the natural disaster.
To avert further destruction of life and property by the floods, the Senate has therefore charged the Federal Government to convene a stakeholders’ meeting to review the situation and proffer durable solutions to the disaster.
It also appealed the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to rehabilitate the existing dilapidated dams so that they can take in flood waters.
The Senate commended the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant public agencies, organisations and individuals for their efforts in creating awareness which led to the reduction in casualty level.
It enjoined NEMA to send relief materials to flood victims in Kano South Senatorial District and other states of the federation.
The appeals and directives were parts of the Senate resolutions following a motion titled: “Recent flooding across the country”, sponsored by Senators Kabir Gaya (APC Kano South) and Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North), and co-sponsored by 106 other lawmakers at Thursday’s plenary.
Leading the debate on the motion, Gaya said that “torrential rains have unleashed floods in different parts of Nigeria over the past few months, claiming hundreds of lives and damaging thousands of homes.”
According to him, the floods have so far ravaged 34 states with Kano South the worst hit where 14 of the 16 local government areas were affected.
Senator Gaya lamented that “in the last three decades, the impacts of flooding have increasingly assumed from significant to threatening proportions, resulting in loss of lives and properties”.
“Though detailed statistics are not available regarding the losses sustained by the urban dwellers and flood victims, it is obvious from the available records that irreparable losses have been sustained by the citizens of Nigeria due to what has become perennial natural disaster in our cities.
“Apart from houses (built with mud brick, traditional building materials of the area and those not built modern flood resistant structure) that collapse by flooding, schools, buildings and bridges sometimes collapse as well. Market places farmlands are submerged for weeks and sometimes are washed away,” he stressed.
The lawmaker noted that the recurring annual floods, especially arising from the released of waters from various dams have caused avoidable loss of lives in many communities across the country.
He added that the disaster had also resulted in colossal loss of property and livelihood as well as dislocation of families thereby worsening the crises of the internally displaced persons with NEMA estimating the losses at over N2.6trillion.
Some of the senators, in their contributions to the motion, lamented the enormous damage floods have done to many Nigerians in various parts of the country and called on the Federal Government durable solutions to the natural disaster.
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Sarak, commended his colleagues for their concerns over the recurring annual floods and stressed the need to save Nigerians from further losses.