MANAGEMENT OF HYDROLOGICAL EXTREMES A FUNDAMENTAL PREROGATIVE OF FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES – Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu FNSE, FAEng.
The Honourable Minister Federal Ministry of Water Resources Engr Suleiman H. Adamu FNSE FAEng has stated that it is a fundamental prerogative of his Ministry to manage the Hydrological extremes as best as possible. He made the statement at the Public Presentation of the 2021 Annual Flood Outlook by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) which is an agency under his Ministry, today 6th May 2021 in Abuja.
Engr Suleiman H. Adamu said the Ministry is achieving this feat by controlling the water flow in our streams, rivers to make them less destructive through the construction of structural abatements such as dams, reservoirs, artificial lakes etc.
Speaking further, he said that this activity is complemented by the equally important application of non- structural measures such as the Annual Flood Outlook, weekly flood forecasts, floodplain mapping and sensitization of the grassroots level by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency.
The Honourable Minister went down memory lane and recalled that the year 2012 remains a Landmark in the annals of flood occurrence in Nigeria which brought about with it massive destruction of lives, properties and critical infrastructure. This culminated in the need to put in place a proper mechanism to prepare Nigerians to confront the menace of disaster of flooding hence the coming into being of Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) in the year 2013.
Eng. Adamu informed the gathering that this is the 9th edition of AFO and the 6th edition under his supervision as the Minister of Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
He further stated that the 2021 Annual Flood Outlook with the theme “Managing Flood for Sustainable Development in COVID-19 Era” is built on the successes of the previous Eight (8) years’ forecasts by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency and that the outcomes of these forecasts has been the increased awareness by the citizenry with respect to measures that need to be taken before, during and after the floods.
The Hon Minister noted that the AFO said has culminated in progressive reduction in the severity of flood and its harmful effects on lives and property in our country.
Engr Adamu commended the timely release of the forecasts and warned that this year like in 2020, the country will be grappling with the two threats of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic and the impending floods as predicted in the AFO. He informed that the 2021 flood projections show varying severity across parts of the country as the flood levels will be higher than in previous years.
He further stressed that in this year 2021, flooding will be exacerbated by the continuing ravages of the COVID-19 Pandemic and implored all to do all that is possible to give succour to the populace grappling with the twin disaster.
As a result of this he reiterated that the Ministry has ramped up efforts in attaining the goals of ending Open Defecation in line with the Executive order 009 signed by President Muhammadu Bihari GCFR , earlier in November 2019 coupled with the efforts in Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector which will go a long way in containing the spread of the Novel Coronavirus and water borne diseases occasioned by flooding.
The Honourable Minister stressed that the information contained in the 2021 Annual Flood Outlook is a Clarion call to all stakeholders, policy makers, federal, state and local governments, departments and agencies to rise and set up appropriate mechanisms such as cleaning the waterways and flood paths, as well as maintaining proper water disposal management practices to curtail the ravages of the impending flood and threats of COVID-19.
He called on the media; both traditional and new to convey the information contained in the 2021 AFO to the people in spite of the COVID-19 restrictions and enjoined the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency to intensify its flood sensitization activities, combined with the dispensation of the flood mobile app, in order to minimize the destruction that may come along with the flood.
The Hon Minister subsequently unveiled the 2021 AFO and prayed that this 9th edition of AFO will be of relevance to all stakeholders, disaster risk managers, policy makers and the general public in checking the impact of the predicted floods.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary; Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack mni, thanked the Honourable Minister, for his untiring support for the Agency in seeing that it delivers on its statutory mandate.
She acknowledged other sister agencies such as NiMET, NEMA NIWRMC, for their input and contributions to ensure the success of this 2021 edition of the Annual Flood Outlook.
Mrs. Didi Walson Jack, mni. reiterated that the overall objective of the event is to sensitize the nation and the general public towards embarking on preventive measures to improve safety and reduce potential damage to lives and properties from predicted flood events by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
She also averred that this day; the 6th of May 2021, will go down in history as the day the agency presented and launched its 9th edition of the Annual Flood Outlook which is essentially for the ultimate purpose of achieving “Effective Flood Management for Sustainable Development” in our dear nation and hoped that the contributions in this event will go a long way to guaranteeing the desired results, targets and aspirations.
A documentary on flood was presented, followed by an overview of the 2021 Annual Flood Outlook by a director from the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, on behalf of the Director General, Engr Clement OnyeasoNze.
There were goodwill messages from various agencies and a vote of thanks by
Chief C M Maduabuchi.
Director (Press and Public Relations Unit)
6th May, 2021.