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Nigerian govt proposes new national policy on erosion, flood control

By Idowu Isamotu, Abuja

Nigerian government says it is currently reviewing the National Policy on Erosion Control and Flood that is all inclusive and in line with global best practices.

This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Environment, Saghir el Mohammed.

The statement noted that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote disclosed this at the opening session of a 2-day workshop on flood prevention, mitigation and preparedness in Nigeria.

Mohammed said Odusote was represented by the Director Human Resources Management in the ministry, Mr. Daniang Peter.

The statement noted that Mrs Odusote stated that the policy, which is aimed at the evolution of sustainable systems for managing flood, will involve the use of proactive tools such as Flood Risk Assessment (FRA), Flood Risk Management Plan (FRMP) and community Based Flood Early Warning System (CB-FEWS).

According to her, the policy is expected to focus on preventive measures involving watershed management in order to address deforestation in agricultural and infrastructural development.

She further said that the policy will equally ensure the adoption of integrated control measures involving engineering and agronomic methods including channelization of floodwater into reservoirs for agricultural purposes and ground water recharge.

Odusote was quoted saying, β€œTo ensure sustainability, the National Policy on Erosion Control will encourage participatory approach that will involve all stakeholders including community members and all relevant sectorial ministries as well as appropriate legal frameworks and funding mechanism.”

According to her, the 2012 and 2018 flood disasters which resulted in the deaths of about 363 Nigerians and the displacement of 3,871,500 people living within the River Niger basin triggered policy shift in government agencies and especially the federal ministry of Environment.

Speaking earlier, Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi, Director-General of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) averred that even with the early warning tools issued annually and updated periodically by both NiMet, NIHSA, flooding has persisted over the years as the most devastating climate change phenomenon that has become worrisome to government at all levels and has caused immeasurable grief to many communities and families.

He, however, opined that if the federal, State and Local Government can allocate one percent of their annual budget to addressing climate change events that it would go a long way in the prevention, mitigation and preparedness against flood and other climatic issues.

In his remarks, a former Director-General of The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Air Vice Marshal Audu Bida, urged the government to always deploy experts in the management of flood to guide against colossal loses.

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