The Federal Government has unfolded a National Strategic Plan of Action for Flood Prevention and Management in Nigeria through a Comprehensive Report produced by the Presidential Committee on Flood which was inaugurated in November 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari following the 2022 floods incidence that threw several communities into hardship, submerged homes and destroyed properties worth billions of naira.
The Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, FNSE, FAeng while briefing the press on Monday 22nd May 2023 in Abuja on the Report of the Presidential Committee stated that President Buhari mandated the committee to fashion out ways of preventing flood disasters in Nigeria within 90 days and in line with Mr. Presdent’s directives, the committee came up with recommendations with adequate potentials to mitigate the impact of flood disasters in Nigeria if approved by Mr President.
According to him, the Committee in their recommendations incorporated the Federal Executive Council’s 2022 approved National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan prepared by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for Nigeria because of the need for articulated coordination among various stakeholders to achieve effective flood management and implementation of the plan.
He further noted that the Report consists of two volumes, the Administrative Volume and the Action Plan which contains all the recommendations on Flood disaster. He added that the mitigation and Adaptation strategy of the National Strategic Plan for Flood Management differs from the other phases because it focuses on long-term measures for minimizing flood risks. The plan includes the Strategic Plan for Flood Mitigation, Financing mechanism, Costing of the Flood Strategic Plan and key Recommendations.
The Honourable Minister said the Committee recommended three major strategic intervention areas. viz; the Establishment of National Flood Management Council (NFMC), State of Emergency Declaration and Mitigation and Adaptation Plan.
Giving the breakdown, the Minister said the composition of the National Flood Management Council would consist of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Hon. Ministers of Water Resources, Environment, Humanitarian Affairs, Agriculture & Rural Development, Transportation, Works and Housing, Power, Health, Aviation, Defence, Science, Technology & Innovation.
Others are Information and Culture, Interior, Finance, Budget and National Planning and Communication and Digital Economy. Also included in the composition are Representatives of State Government ( 1no per geopolitical zone) and the Council Secretariat.
He added that the Council is to advise Mr. President on all issues pertaining to flood management including the declaration of a State of Emergency, coordination of flood management activities in the country, dealing with any other matters relating to flood management as may be directed by the President as well as sourcing and providing funding for all flood-related matters.
He stressed that under the State of Emergency Declaration, Nigeria flood is categorized as follows: Imminent, Minor, Moderate, Major and Destructive Floods.
He explained that Mitigation and Adaptation Plan is derived following a series of situational studies, analysis, field evaluations and key stakeholders’ interactions under which ten key strategies to address the incessant flooding across the country effectively were identified.
The key strategies according to the Water Minister include Data Acquisition for Integrated Flood Management, Coordinated Multi-Sectoral Flood, Early Warning System, Development of Capacity on Flood Management, Development and Management of Flood Plains, Protection of the Environment, Protection of Infrastructure, Reservoir Operation System for Mitigation, Collaboration among relevant Stakeholders, Enhancement of Public Awareness and Community Support and Optimizing the Benefits of Flood to the National Economy.