By Okon Okon
In a bid to find solutions to flooding in Nigeria, the Federal Government says it is planning to engage experts from Hungary to assist Nigeria to provide “technical solutions“.
The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, announced this when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum in Abuja.
Adamu said although flood was a natural disaster, it could also result from human factors such as poor watershed management, cutting down of trees, raising buildings on water courses, the climate change factors, among others.
According to him, the Federal Government has a lot to do to curb some of the factors that cause flooding across the major rivers in the country, Rivers Niger and Benue in particular.
“Flooding is a natural disaster, so there is no much we can do, but some of the key problems; one is climate change of course, second is poor watershed management which again the Water Resources Bill wants to address.
“People are cutting trees, all our rivers are getting fully sedimented because they carry a lot of sand and they are feeding it into dams and also cause sediments in the dams and therefore, the capacity of the storage of the dams is reducing.
“And therefore, when there is an exceptional rainfall, the dams start spilling earlier than they should; the flooding that you get from that is basically a mitigation of a bigger disaster.
“But certain flood, there is nothing you can do; there are natural flood plains, there is nothing you can do about them.
“But we have a plan and again this is a long term plan, but as far as the most significant flood on rivers Niger and Benue are concerned, we have a plan to do a comprehensive study of Niger and Benue river regimes.
“Based on that, we will have some technical solutions like creation of islands, dredging, embankment and so on and so forth that will help to alleviate the problem.
“We have some experts from Hungary that we are talking with. Hungary has a river and for years it was a major problem for the killing of hundreds of people every year; but they have been able to tame it through technology.“
The minister said states within the flood plain areas also had responsibilities to create artificial lakes, earth dams, and reservoirs to check the menace of flood in their areas.
He added that the recurrence of flooding in the country was due to insufficient water reservoirs and lack of building enforcement regulation by the states to stop people from building on water courses.