The Lagos State Government, in its efforts to combat incessant flooding, has collaborated with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) on baseline data collection and study of flood-prone areas.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, who spoke on Thursday at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Ikeja, said the present administration is committed to using data to improve the lot of residents.
He said that the meeting was significant as it addressed the major challenge of the data gap in the water resources sector, reiterating that data remains vital to efficient planning and service delivery.
Bello, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Engr. Lekan Shodeinde, commended NIHSA for the proactive and innovative approach in the public dissemination of Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), saying that such information is becoming the benchmark for rain sensitive organisations and States.
“Such information is becoming the benchmark for rain sensitive States like ours. We also vigorously publicise our activities in flood abatement and mitigation as well as Seasonal Climate Prediction”, he emphasised.
The Director-General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Engr. Clement Onyeaso Nze, remarked that over the years, catastrophic flooding events resulting in the destruction of lives and property have been reported all over the world and it is imperative to reduce the ferocity and destruction caused by these natural disasters.
He added that there is a need to have a better understanding of flood events and follow up with the development of flood disaster mitigation plans based on flood and river hazards.
“To this end, NIHSA commissioned Mecon Geology and Engineering Service Limited to carry out detailed Hydrogeological and Hydrological studies as well as flow regimes of major rivers across the country to mitigate the effects of flooding” he explained.
Nze said this was done with a view to identifying causes and measures for reducing flood incidents as well as mapping out flood inundation areas across the country for better river basin planning and floodplain management.
He disclosed that the draft Hydrological Maps presented at the event are of importance to the Hydrogeologists and groundwater specialists, administrators, Urban and regional engineers, agriculture and horticulture technicians as well as researchers and individuals.
In his words: “At the completion of the mapping and final presentation, all hydro-meteorological data needed for the production of the Hydrogeological and flood vulnerability map of Nigeria would have been collated”.
The Director-General added that at the end of the exercise, substantial stratigraphic data would become available while areas of data gap to be augmented through exploratory drilling would be identified.