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As rainy season starts citizens take measures to avoid predicted extreme flooding

8 May 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes

The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET) has warned citizens living in the north of the country to prepare for an earlier-than-normal onset of rain, with downpours expected to start between June and July in Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Kastina, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno states.

Its prediction has proved to be correct as it has already started raining in parts of Borno State.

It also advised citizens in low-lying areas that there could be extreme flooding and they should consider moving to higher ground.

Mansur Matazu, NiMET’s director-general, told RNI that extreme weather events could occur in some states. He warned of flash floods in some cities and towns and said people who lived in flood-prone areas should expect higher-than-normal flooding and they should try to move to higher ground if they can afford it.

The warning has not been taken lightly but some people simply do not have the money to move.

The warning has put the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency (BOSEPA), as well as people living in flood-prone areas, on high alert and they have been putting in place preventive measures to try to contain the predicted flooding across the state.

Abubakar Suleiman, general manager of BOSPERA, told RNI that the agency was aware of the report released by NiMET and that it was taking the warning seriously.

“That’s why we are on high alert. We have started clearing major drainage systems and waterways within and outside Maiduguri as part of the preventive measures.

“We are also calling on people to stop dumping refuse or garbage along waterways and into the drainage systems. We have asked people to stop building structures – such as houses – along waterways and in riverine areas to prevent destruction when the flooding occurs.

“Everybody knows how badly we were affected by last year’s devastating floods in which so many houses and property worth millions were destroyed. And we don’t want such levels of destruction this year.”

Suleiman urged citizens of Borno State to cooperate with BOSEPA by complying with all rules and regulations, such as avoiding building structures along waterways and in riverine areas, avoiding dumping garbage along waterways and into drainage systems, clearing drainage systems regularly so that they are kept sanitised.

“This is the only way we are able to protect our lives, our homes and our property from flooding. May Allah protect us all.”

Fatima Abbas, who lives in the riverine area of Maiduguri, told RNI that she was frightened by the warning.

“We are so frightened as this year’s rainy season is about to set in fully. Last year, we experienced devastating floods in which our houses and properties were submerged and destroyed.

“I personally lost a property worth ₦100,000 because of the flooding. We still have not managed to renovate our destroyed homes because we don’t have money. If we are financially capable, we will leave the riverside and buy a house elsewhere within the city.”

Fatima Mohammed said: “We plan to vacate the riverine area ahead of time before the devastating floods come and destroy and submerge our property like last year. Then, we will go back to our homes after the flood.”

Ummi Salma told RNI that she was afraid and extremely worried about the coming rainy season. “It’s always alarming when the rainy season is about to set it. We always vacate our home and rent a house on higher ground. This time around, we even tried to sell our house but no one showed interest because of its location. The only way to escape the flood is to vacate the riverine area before it is too late.”


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