The National Water Resource Institute (NWRI) on Tuesday resolved to construct flood marks in flood prone areas across the nation to reduce disasters.
The Executive Director of the institute, Prof. Emmanuel Adanu, made the disclosure in Kaduna at a stakeholders workshop on the construction of Flood Marks.
He said that the step was necessary in preventing disaster due to flood.
Adanu called on government to focus more on preventing disasters than managing it in order to save human, material and financial resources.
According to him, flooding is a natural phenomenon that the human race must put up with, but added that it must be managed effectively to the benefit of the people.
Adanu explained that flood marks are like mile posts from one town to another which tells people how far they have travelled as well as the remaining distance they still have to cover before they get to their destination.
“The year 2012 was a unique one for Nigerians because it was recorded as a year with the highest level of flooding Nigeria ever had.
“It was considered 60, 80 and a 100 year return period in some locations in the country. So, we are using that as a standard benchmark.
“We are going to have mark posts all over the country along flood plains and then mark the levels of flood we have had so far, and then we will graduate it down, or up from green to yellow and red.
“It should be noted that not all flood have negative impact as the first flood was intended to clean the earth of human iniquities,” he said.
Also, the Director Planning, Research and Forecasting, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Kayode Fagbemi, said the flood mark would provide record and historical data on the level of flood in the country.
He said that the structures would also send early warning to people, such that when they see flood marks getting to amber or yellow they already have a warning to move especially if they live around that area.
“Flood on its own is not a disaster, but a hazard and it is human interactions with floods that lead to disaster, for instance, if I intend to buy a plot of land and I see there is a mark that flood gets to two meters there I won’t buy the land.”
Fagbemi said that flood warnings would enable people evacuate quickly to avoid deaths, destruction and other consequences.
In her remarks, Chief Programme Officer, Department of Public Enlightenment and Mass Mobilisation, National Orientation Agency, (NOA), Grace Mamman, said the Agency would partner NWRI in the area of advocacy and sensitisation.
She said that with NOA structures, information would be disseminated to the general public to sensitise them on the meaning of the colours on flood marks.
Earlier, in his presentation, NWRI Head of Drought, Flood and Erosion Control, Mr Julius Onemano, said that the historic rainfall events that devastated parts of Nigeria in recent years exposed the Nation’s vulnerability to flooding.
He said that considering the frequency and severity of the flood events, erection of flood marks across the country becomes a vital project that would serve very useful purpose in warning residents to potential flooding.
According to Onemano, to accomplish the prevention or reduction of losses due to flood, “accurate prediction of the flood elevations and inundation area and distribution of the information to emergency managers, urban planners and the public is very important.
“Marking flood inundation maps to correctly demarcate property lines beyond which no development or residential apartment should be erected.”
NAN recalled that the 2019 Season Rainfall Prediction was released by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on Jan. 24, 2019.
According to the report, the general outlook of Annual Rainfall amount is predicted to be normal in Nigeria, but with few places predicted to experience above normal rainfall.