Engr Suleiman H.Adamu presents 2023 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO)

Nigeria: Flood can have devastating consequences, and there is a need for necessary measures to be taken to mitigate the impact of these natural disasters and the importance of accurate flood forecasting in protecting the lives and properties of our citizens cannot be overstated”. This statement was made by the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, at the 8th edition of the Presentation of the 2023 Annual Flood OUTLOOK (AFO) by The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) in Abuja on 17th February 2023.

Speaking during the event, Adamu said that the theme of this year’s event, *Flood Prediction and Its Impact on Socio-Economic Livelihood*”, aligns with Goal 1 of the United Nations Agenda For Sustainable Development (SDGs), which is targeted at building the resilience of the poor, those in vulnerable situations, and reducing their exposure as well as their vulnerability to climate related extreme disasters, which has an adverse effect, economically, socially and environmentally.

He noted that Nigeria, just like the rest of the world, has suffered from the devastating effects of floods of varying degrees of severity.

“2022 flood is the worst recorded flooding incident in the country in terms of impact. The World Bank estimated the economic damage to residential and non-residential buildings, infrastructure, productive sector, and farmlands at $6.68 billion dollars.”

Adamu recalled that the inauguration of the Presidential Committee For The Development of Action Plan on 3rd November 2022 was Mr President’s directive and a concerted effort to curtail the recurrence of devastating flood disasters in Nigeria.

While applauding NEWMAP, AAH, NEMA, NESDRA, NIMET, private organizations, and other collaborating NGOs for their partnership and unflinching support, the Minister said, “this 2023 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) is therefore coming at the right time as it will serve as a valuable resource towards enriching the work of the Presidential Committee on Flood. It is also aimed at detailed information on the probable flood risk areas in 2023 with their degree of vulnerability, the Minister stated.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Didi Esther Walson- Jack, MCIPM, mni, ably represented by the Director, River Basin Operations and Inspectorate, Mr John Ochigbo, revealed that the overall objective of this event is to sensitize the populace on the need to embark on the preventive measures which are necessary to improve the safety of lives, reduce potential damages to property and infrastructure that has been witnessed from the recent flood disasters particularly, that of 2022.

While hinting that over 1.4million people were displaced, 662 people were reported dead, coupled with economic devastations caused by the 2022 flood, with the 2023 Annual Flood Forecast, the Permanent Secretary said, “the negative impact of flood will be on the decline by promoting a better understanding of flood risks and ensuring that mitigating measures are deployed appropriately”.

Goodwill messages were presented at the event by the Director General of NIMET, Director General of NIRSAL, D G NIMET, D.G NEMA, D G FEMA, and the Director General of NOA.

In his vote of thanks, the Director General of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Engr. Clement Nze said that this year’s Annual Flood Outlook publication serves as a measure to sensitize the populace and create awareness of the inherent dangers of flooding in order to minimize its negative impact.

Amelia Jones

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