From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
Due to constant flooding, an environmentalist, Idowu Salau, on Friday charged the Federal Government to enforce the National Building Code to discourage people from constructing houses by the coastline and use of substandard materials.
The environmentalist also charged governments at State and Federal level to provide and rehabilitate existing flood infrastructures.
Salau spoke during Sunrise Daily, ChannelsTV programme held to suggest sustainable solutions to the environmental challenge.
“We keep telling them, you don’t just build infrastructure. You need to maintain it and ensure periodic maintenance of the drainage system,” he said. “In Lagos, we have system one to system six in Lagos. Odo-Iya alaro is the major one which is system one. It starts from Agidingbi and end at Oworonsoki, over 19klm. But the channel has closed up, so if you have a heavy rain, it will spill over because nobody is carrying out periodic maintenance.”
“The building code has to be adhered to. They have to alert the public on the effect of building on drainage channels. They have to put in place effective waste management system. Lagos will suffer from these new flooding activities.”
He identified three flooding types the nation remained vulnerable – urban flooding, river flooding and ocean flooding, adding that Nigeria is lucky not to witness tsunami and hurricane.
“Impact of flooding is the same as war impact. The death toll just within weeks of urban flooding in Nigeria is 100. People has been displaced as and this is being reported by NEMA.”
He noted how relevant government agencies such as National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), ought to have designed Disaster Flood Management System.
However, he urged the Federal Government to pay attention to the issues especially flood impact as well as tackling open defecation. The consultant called for urgent clearing of drainages as well as demolition of homes built by the coastline.
In his remarks, Dr. Clement Nze, Director General of the NIHSA, shifted the blames on the commissioners for environment and water resources from the 36 states.
According to him, flood warning report was issued to the state commissioners who he noted should have developed mitigation and adaptation strategies on the flood.