By: BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
The General Manager, Niger State Environmental Protection Agency, (NISEPA), Dr. Lucky Barau has warned residents of all urban areas of the state to clear drainages and culverts and stop building on waterways and all flood plains.
Dr. Barau said the hazards of flash flooding could be stemmed if such clear cut measures as clearing all waterways, drainages and culverts are adhered to as the rains intensifies in the month.
He advised residents of Minna, Suleja, Mokwa, Jebba, Bida and other densely populated urban areas across the state to step up efforts in clearing clogged and silted gutters, drainages and culverts to avoid flash flooding.
The NISEPA GM spoke to newsmen in Minna. He cautioned that weather reports from the Meteorological department suggests that heavier rains were still ahead even as he noted that unkempt places where grasses, shrubs and vegetation have been allowed to grow, needs to be cleared to make ample waterways for rain water and flood water to have their escape routes and pass to rivers and other water bodies.
The General Manager cautioned that to avoid a repeat of such perennial catastrophes where human lives, livestock and properties including residential homes and other structures are lost to flash flood, residents must act fast and clear all drainages and avoid erecting structures on waterways.
Dr. Lucky Barau said flash flood could results from rains at peak periods of raining season because the ground was already saturated with water and that any rain fall could lead to the ground bursting up in volume of water cascading to any direction depending on the in volume of the flood water.
He said since water must find it’s way, any structure that stands on water ways could be brought down by water current and where waterways, gutters, drainages and culverts are silted or blocked, the consequences of such is that the flowing water would create chanels for itself to pass on or escape to places.
“If our residential areas are without spacious channels wide enough for the excess water volume to stream on, our homes become the available targets” he explained.
He enjoined residents of cluster homes to form community groups and help in clearing all waterways in their domains without waiting for government to provide such simple task that can go a long way to save lives and properties.