The forum is to create awareness to Nigerians, those living in flood prone areas in particular to get ready to relocate to safety areas.
The Director-General of NIHSA, Dr Moses Beckley, said this at the 2017 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) workshop organised by the agency on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, the forum is to create awareness to Nigerians, those living in flood prone areas in particular to get ready to relocate to safety areas.
The expected areas of flooding in 2017 are Niger, Benue, Sokoto-Rima, Anambra-Imo, Cross River, Niger Delta, Komadougu-Yobe, Ogun-Osun and several other sub-basins of the country.
“This outlook forecast is to get the people aware, enlightened, so that they can prepare effectively for what to likely expect from flood incident."
“We in the agency advise those living in these areas to relocate to safety regions having the knowledge of hydrological hazard which floods have caused in previous years in the country, “ he said.
Beckley, however, explained that areas to be affected by flood in 2017 were expected to be lower than that of 2016.
He attributed the reason for the fall in degree to necessary precautionary measures taken by the agency and other sisters’ agency like NiMet, NEMA among other.
In his address, Malam Suleiman Adamu, Minister, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, appreciated efforts of NiMet, NEMA, NOA for their contribution toward enlightening Nigerians on the dangers of flood.
According to the Minister, the 2017 flood outlook presentation and workshop is built on the success of the four previous forecasts by the NIHSA and other agencies.
Adamu observed that the outcome of these forecasts have contributed to the reduction in the incidents of severe flood damages in the nation.
This, he said, was not necessarily as the result of reduced flooding, but as a consequence of timely heeding to the warnings by these agencies and government at various levels.
“The dissemination of these forecasts to all corners of the country in a timely manner through the electronics and print media as well as our sensitisation programmes has been most helpful."
“NIHSA must be highly commended for achieving these results, especially at these times of lean resources.“
He said the Federal Government may not be in position to arrest the sudden consequences of flood.
The minister, therefore, warned residents living in flood prone areas to desist from activities capable of blocking the drains.
“As we are all aware, flood and other vagaries of nature are inevitable, especially with the phenomenon-climate change."
“This is exacerbated by the actions of man through desertification, carbon emissions, distortions of ecological systems and others."
“ It is necessary for us to manage our environment in such a manner that their deleterious effects are mitigated and become less devastating,“ the minister said.
Earlier in his address, Dr Musa Ibrahim, Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, highlighted the importance of AFO by NIHSA, saying that it was to sensitise the entire nation.
“I wish to reiterate that the AFO is an effort by NIHSA to enlighten the nation including the key stakeholders-decision and policy makers, farmers among others."
“This is to ensure timely and adequate preparation toward any probable flood incident in order to prevent or mitigate its impacts, “ he said.
The highlight of the events includes unveiling of the 2017 AFO booklet by the Minister.
The theme of the 2017 AFO is, “Effective Flood Management for the Sustainable Development“.