Perennial flood disasters have resulted in colossal loss of property and livelihood in Nigeria, with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) estimating the loss at over N2.6 trillion.
Senator Kabiru Gaya while presenting a motion he sponsored alongside with Senator Stella Oduah and 102 other Senators, made this known at Senate sitting on Thursday.
The recent flooding across the country occasioned by torrential rains that unleashed havoc in different parts of the country over the past few months, claimed hundreds of lives and damaged thousands of homes.
So far, the floods ravaged 34 states including Kebbi, Cross River, Enugu, Kwara, Lagos, Imo, Kogi, Ondo, Jigawa, Taraba, Rivers, Katsina, Gombe, Imo, Bauchi and Akwa lbom states.
Others are Ogun, Anambra, Niger, Katsina, Kwara, Adamawa, Edo, Kano, Benue, Delta, Yobe, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Ebonyi,Enugu, Nasarawa, Bayelsa and Osun states.
Senator Gaya observed that in the last three decades, the impacts of flooding have increasingly assumed from significant to threatening proportions, resulting in loss of lives and properties.
“Though detailed statistics are not available regarding the losses sustained by the urban dwellers and flood victims, it is obvious from the available records that irreparable loss have been sustained by the citizen of Nigeria due to what has become perennial natural disaster in our cities.
“Apart from houses (built with mud brick, traditional building materials of the area and those not built with modern flood resistant structure) that collapse by flooding, schools, buildings and bridges sometimes collapse as well. Market places and farmlands are submerged for weeks and sometimes are washed away.
“The recurring annual floods in Nigeria especially arising from the release of flood waters from various dams in Nigeria have caused avoidable loss of lives in many communities across the country.
“These perennial flood disaster have also resulted in colossal loss of property and livelihood, with NEMA estimating the loss at over 2.6 trillion Naira to the menace,” Gaya stated.
He said the Senate is aware that the attendant loss of lives and livelihood from the avoidable floods has led to dislocations and loss of future direction for the impacted families, and that these flood disasters have worsened the crises of internally displaced persons.
He further stated that the Senate is concerned that these perennial floods have over the years caused widespread and irreparable damage to the various ecosystems along the impacted areas, with some flora and fauna lost forever, and that the floods have also introduced several strange vegetation that not only choke native flora, but are usually difficult to control.
Senate was also concerned that these floods have over the years resulted in permanent devastation of vast stretches of arable lands nationwide.
After due consideration of Gaya’s motion, Senate urged NEMA to send relief materials to affected victims of flood across states of the federation, and urged federal government to convene a stakeholders meeting to ex-ray the recurring situation with the view to proffering a lasting solution to flood disasters.
The Senate also urged the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to rehabilitate existing dams to be able to take in flood waters.