Planners seek proactive measures against flooding


WHO partners FG to support victims
Town planners have called for proactive measures against the devastating impact of floods, which has led to the loss of 18,000 buildings and 200 lives in 12 states of the federation.

Due to heavy rains across the country since August, Nigeria has been experiencing large-scale flooding.

By September 26, 2018, about 87 councils in Adamawa, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Edo, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Rivers and Taraba states had experienced floods of varying magnitudes.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), at least 17,816 houses were destroyed and 826,403 individuals affected. This resulted in the death of 199 and displacement of 176,299 persons.

But planners are worried about government’s reactive rather than proactive approach whenever there is flood and relaxing afterwards until the next disaster.

President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Luka Achi, called for proper protection of the environment from floods.

He told The Guardian that apart from creating drains, cities should be planned to have a minimum of three trees for any structure before approvals are given.

“Fortunately, there are provisions of forest and green reserves in building regulations of our cities, which are flood-prone, but these are no longer followed. If government is proactive, all these measures must be in place to ensure that we do not witness flooding of this magnitude in the country.

For the former president of Association Of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Moses Ogunleye, a properly planned community or town should be flood-free.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed its partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to support flood victims.

According to WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu, the organisation is supporting Nigeria’s response to the flooding and providing life-saving emergency services to the affected population, in close coordination with FMoH, NCDC and NEMA.

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