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Meals shortage looms in Nigeria as extreme flooding persists

Nigeria seems set to face a scarcity of agricultural produce in coming months as extreme flooding continues to ravage farmlands.

The Nigeria Hydrological Providers Company (NIHSA) had not too long ago warned that flooding will persist till the final quarter of 2022.

Nigeria has been experiencing torrential rainfall in current weeks, along with the opening of the Lagdo dam by the Cameroonian authorities, which resulted in heavy flooding that has affected greater than half 1,000,000 individuals.

Nearly all of the 36 states of the federation together with the Federal Capital Territory have skilled one type of flooding or one other, leaving in its wake the destruction of lives, properties, and livelihoods. To date, almost 400 individuals have been killed, with Jigawa being the worst hit, and over 100,000 Nigerians have been displaced, in accordance with the newest knowledge launched by NIHSA and the Nationwide Emergency Administration Company.

Agriculture has remained the worst hit; within the Northeast alone, greater than 150,000 hectares of land have been destroyed. Farmers within the area have expressed issues about large-scale destruction of produce, saying the injury attributable to the catastrophe could possibly be estimated at over N30 billion.

The flood destroyed rice, maize, sorghum, millet, beans, groundnut, bean farms and lots of of livestock. They referred to as for pressing interventions to mitigate the consequences of the catastrophe, cut back starvation and improve meals safety.

Kenechukwu Onuorah, an knowledgeable at International Rights, a world human rights capacity-building non-governmental organisation, stated one main consequence of persistent flooding is the massive impression it’ll have on agricultural output. In accordance with him, persistent flooding will make primary foodstuff scarce and costly if nothing is completed urgently to manage it.

“The persistent rain could also be good as a result of it creates swampy lands which can be good for the vegetation however flooding is a catastrophe. It comes with erosion, particularly within the South, and washes away the vegetation. It destroyed the crops and even livestock could have nothing to feed on,” he stated.

In accordance with Onuorah, the persistent flooding and rainfall is fueled by local weather change because of world warming, poor city planning, and overflowing dams amongst others. He, nonetheless, stated that flooding might have been averted, if the federal government had put preventive measures in place.

Learn additionally: Hydrological company predicts flood in 35 states

“There’s a lot we might do this we’re not doing. We should guarantee acceptable city planning, and drainage programs. Authorities in any respect ranges should work to set Nigeria on the trail in direction of greener renewable vitality to be able to reverse the consequences of local weather change. Sadly, the federal government is just not working in that course but,” he stated.

The NIHSA, in a press release made obtainable to BusinessDay on Tuesday, stated flooding would persist, disclosing that the Rivers Niger and Benue system had began build up.

“As we’re conscious, Nigeria is situated inside the River Niger Basin, which is occupied by 9 nations, specifically: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Our nation is on the lowest portion of the Basin. Which means as soon as the higher catchment of the Basin will get flooded, Nigeria must be ready to expertise flooding,” it stated.

The company additionally warned that the state of affairs at Kainji and Jebba Dams on the primary River Niger and Shiroro Dam on the river Kaduna in Nigeria referred to as for vigilance. The administration of the three dams have began liberating up house to accommodate waters from the upstream nations.

“It is a flood warning sign and name for vital watch at this era,” it stated.

The discharge of extra water from the Lagdo dam which commenced from September 13, 2022 will proceed until the influx into the Lagdo Reservoir recedes, the company stated. The water releases from Lagdo dam contributed to the rise within the quantity of circulation of River Benue and its tributaries resembling River Faro and Mayo Belwa, which in flip contributed to the current flooding in some elements of the North.

In accordance with the company, the state of affairs on the nation’s inland reservoirs (Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro) and the Lagdo dam current a probability of river flooding between now and October ending; therefore, the necessity to put in place ample measures and enhanced preparedness to mitigate any eventual flooding.

It listed the states with the very best danger of flooding to incorporate Kebbi, Niger, Adamawa, Taraba. Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa.

It is because they’re on the primary course of rivers Niger and Benue programs, the company stated.

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