THE memories are heart-breaking, even as their sad relics still litter areas that fell to the devastating claws of the 2012 flooding.
Yet again, four years later, the gloomy indices are here again based on the recent prediction by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency. The agency said states like Lagos, Ibadan, Rivers, Sokoto, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Benue and Yola are expected to be hit by flash floods. Also, rivers like Niger, Benue, Sokoto-Rima, Anambra, Imo, Cross River and Ogun-Osun are also expected to overflow their bounds. This is even as the federal government has been in talks with neighbouring Cameroun and Niger Republic to control the channelisation of water into Rivers Niger and Benue.
Lamenting the devastating effects of flooding on Nigeria, the Director General of the agency, Dr. Moses Beckley, who disclosed this alarming news while speaking at the unveiling of the 2016 annual flood outlook, stressed that Nigeria had, had its fair share of flooding over the years with its attendant consequences. He said it was important for state governments to put in place artificial reservoirs to check the flow of the flood, to avoid a replay of the 2012 flooding disaster.
However, this latest forecast, runs contrary to the one earlier made by Dr. Anthony Anuforom, Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet). He had said that the rainy season in Nigeria would witness “late on-set, early cessation and lower-than-normal rainfall in many parts of the country, especially in the northernmost parts.”
Even though the flood alert was meant to serve as an early warning to mitigate the risks of flooding and to guide government in taking necessary steps to reduce possible impact, it readily evoked graphic and painful memories of the 2012 flood that wreaked unquantifiable havoc.