Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday asked state governments and other stakeholders to take proactive measures to minimize the risk of flooding in their areas.
Saraki said a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, that recent reports showed that as many as 30 out of the 36 states in the country are at risk for flooding due to inadequate town-planning, construction oversights and obstructed drainage systems.
He said states and other stakeholders should take the issue of flooding seriously in the interest of their people.
The Senate president said: “We have to take this issue of flooding very seriously, God has blessed Nigeria in so many ways. We are not like many other nations that experience cataclysmic natural disasters that leave considerable destruction.
“This issue of flooding is something that with proper planning and proactive steps, we can minimize and mitigate the loss of lives and damage to property.
“What we need to do is for all stakeholders, by this I mean governments across all levels, town planning councils and our emergency management agencies, to meet to discuss how we can put in place long-term strategies to stop these floods so that we can end this fire-brigade approach of dealing with crisis situation.”
The Senate president also listed some immediate steps that states across the federation must take to reduce flooding.
He added: “Our state governments need to work with town-planners to identify areas that are at risk for flooding. Additionally, we need to immediately put in place both sensitization and punitive measures to ensure that people are not blocking our drainage systems. When these drainage systems are blocked, especially in urban centers, the water begins to accumulate during heavy rains.”