The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
5 ways to prevent future floods bruised away lives, properties
Nigerians witnessed again yet another season of bruising loss as overwhelming downpours flood away lives and properties with some other violent attempt to injuring and displacing, some others.
The casualty may be unprecedented in the various life of Nigerians since the start of the yearly flood in, 2012.
In 2012, over 353 Nigerians had their lives ended by the flood while over 2.1 million of others displaced within July to 5th of November.
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states were affected by the floods. The floods were termed as the worst in 40 years, and affected an estimated total of seven million people in Nigeria. The estimated damages and losses caused by the floods were N2.6 trillion.
But this year flood, is more bloodier than the former.
According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, the 2022 floods in Nigeria have affected 34 out of the 36 states in the country, living about 1.3 million people displaced.
The UN body said over 600 people had lost their lives, adding that over 200,000 houses had either been partially or fully damaged.
Meanwhile, the last major flood emergency which was between July and October 2012, had the Niger and Benue rivers overflowed their banks. The reported death toll at the time was under 500 people with a list of similar number people displaced, this year.
Notwithstanding, Nigeria suffers from seasonal flash floods during its annual rainy season. They are sometimes lethal, especially in the rural areas and overcrowded slums, where drainage is poor or does not exist at all.
Nigeria’s current flooding has been attributed to above-average rainfall and an overflowing dam in neighboring Cameroon. But the situation has also been exacerbated by poor drainage infrastructure, environmentalists have said.
Affected victims have blamed the Nigerian governments for their failing since 2012 during the tenure of Good luck Abele Jonathan.
But in addition to state governments failing to prepare early for seasonal floods, this year’s events have also been blamed on the release of excess water from Cameroon’s Lagdo dam in the middle of September. Nigeria does not have a buffer dam to prevent this flow though this need has existed since 1982 when the Lagdo dam was completed.
Recognising that nature is inherent and the Government solutions to the incessant yearly floods might be really long as not anticipated, this is why PIJAlance Magazine have chose to give out this 5 possible solutions to prevent floods:
According to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, If you live, work or own property in an area at risk of flooding, you need to take a few steps now that will reduce later your risk of death, health threats and property damage from flooding – whether you’re a homeowner, farmer, business, dam owner or local government official.
BUY FLOOD INSURANCE
Buying flood insurance is a good idea even if you live in a low- to moderate-risk area. Flood damage is not typically covered by a homeowner’s insurance policies, federal disaster assistance isn’t guaranteed, and even low risk areas suffer flooding if melting snow and rain collects rapidly, if there are poor drainage systems or if water mains break. Insurance policies in low risk areas can start as low as 50, 000 or $100.
For areas with greater flooding risk, here are some quick and relatively inexpensive things you can do to protect your home or business from flooding.
- Elevate the furnace, water heater, air conditioner and other utilities.
- Install “check valves” in sewer traps to prevent flood water back ups.
- Construct interior barriers to stop low level floodwater from entering basements.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
- Remove inventory or important papers and possessions from the basement.
- Back up important computer files and store in a secure off site location.
FOLLOW HEALTH AND SAFETY ADVICE
Learn about the emergency supplies you’ll need in case of flooding, how to identify potential home hazards to avoid and the flood evacuation route and other steps you’ll want to take to protect yourself if flooding occurs.
PREPARE YOUR FARM TO AVOID MANURE RUNOFF INTO STREAMS
Flooding can increase the risk that manure will run off into streams, rivers, and groundwater, contaminating private drinking water wells and causing pollution and potentially fish kills. Take steps now to prevent spills or runoff when flooding occurs.
ASSURE SAFE DAMS AND GET EMERGENCY PLANS READY
Dam owners should take the following steps to prepare for the possibility of flooding to avoid endangering human life and property downstream of their dam.
- Locate and review your Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for the dam. Create one if you don’t have a formal one now.
- Post emergency contact phone numbers for law enforcement, local emergency government, the Statewide Warning Center (800-943-0003), dam operators and their backup and the DNR dam safety engineer for your county.
- Coordinate dam operation with upstream and downstream dam owners. Confirm there is a contingency plan (back operations and emergency operations) procedures in place.
- Monitor ice flow and water levels early.
- Operate the dam in a timely manner to reduce risk gate failure and/or damage. Refer to dam safety and floodplain zoning maps for an estimate of lands that might be flooded if you don’t have a dam failure analysis map.
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