Mr Clement Nze, the Director-Genera, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), has called for attitudinal and behavioural change by the citizens on the environment to mitigate the effects of flooding.
The Director-General, who was represented by Mallam Umar Magashi made the call during a sensitisation programme on Monday in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The programme was tagged: Sensitisation workshop on 2019 Flood Prediction and Mitigation organised by the agency.
“Flooding has always occurred year-in, year-out and lives and property are lost, but our people have never tried to leave these areas because we have tied a lot of cultural beliefs to them.
“But then even those people that are staying around the coaster areas can leave the coast when the floods are occurring, move to higher level and come back after the flood.
“Government usually try to rehabilitate victims of flood disaster all along, it is not the best of what should be done. I think we should do more to save people’s lives,” Nze said.
D-G frowned at the attitude of Nigerians who indiscriminately dump their refuse in the rain during rainfall and called for attitudinal change.
“We have a lot of environmental laws in Nigeria enacted by the states but these laws are not being enforced; we lack enforcement culture and character.
“I think we should take the bull by the horn, we should start implementing our laws now.
“Indiscriminate dumping of refuse is what we see because government agencies have failed to implement sanitation laws,’’ he said.
Nze advised that residents must adopt the proper ways of waste disposal that would no longer cause environmental hazards.
He said that the 36 states of the federation including the FCT would this year experience different levels of flooding and urged the people to adopt proper mitigation and readiness strategies.
Delivering a paper on “Effect of Floods in Developing Society” Prof. Owolabi Ajayi, the guest speaker, was of the view that human factor was the main cause of flooding.
Ajayi said that there were no institutions capable of dealing with hazard whenever it occurred mostly in developing societies unlike like the developed ones.
“Here in Nigeria, we do not have some of these institutions capable of dealing with flood hazards and even when we have it, policies and laws that should guide them are not enforced.
“This is why we have flood disasters in almost annual basis.
“In order to prevent people from being victims of flood, government must ensure that the people are not affected in their natural habitats,’’ Prof., Ajayi said.
The areas highlighted as highly flood-prone in 2019 by NIHSA included Oyo, Lagos, Delta and Ekiti among others.