The Jigawa State Government says it has procured two amphibious excavators to fast track dredging of Hadejia River to control perennial flooding in the state.
The Chairman, Jigawa Flood Control and Mitigation Committee, Alhaji Hamza Muhammad, stated this while responding to a survey on flood mitigation measures.
The Nigeria Metrological Agency (NiMet), in its 2023 Flood Outlook, predicted flooding in Jigawa and other parts of the country.
The agency urged state governments to step up mitigation activities such as building of dams, wing dykes, diversion spillways and embankments, to avert recurrence of the disaster.
Muhammad said the state government procured two amphibious excavators and partnered with Government of the Netherlands to dredge Hadejia River as part of proactive measures to control flood.
According to him, amphibious excavator is a type of machine that can perform dredging while afloat on soft terrain such as swamps, wetlands and shallow water as well as clear Typher grass to ease flow of water.
He said the state government was currently in discussion with three companies from Netherlands with a view to find lasting solutions to the disaster.
“The Netherlands, which has a history of managing and controlling flood, in collaboration with the state government to reel out measures towards flood control and how the water will be utilise for economic purposes, especially irrigation.
“After discussions, the companies and the state government will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on how to go about the projects,” he said.
He said the government had identified areas where flood occurred in the previous year and constructed embankments.
Hamza said the government also empowered community organisations and equipped them with working tools to conduct waste clearance exercise, clear drains and blocked waterways in the state.
He said the government also directed the 27 local government councils to clear drains to ease flow of water in their respective areas.
Similarly, the Gombe State Government through the state’s Environmental Protection Agency (GOSEPA), said it would conduct de-silt exercise of 218 kilometres of drains and other water bodies to control flooding in the state.
The General Manager of the agency, Mr Mohammed Ahmed, said the state governor, Inuwa Yahaya, had provided support to GOSEPA, to enable it to carry out its responsibilities of ensuring a cleaner environment.
He said that considering the impact of flooding in 2022, efforts would not be spared to ensure that drains were kept cleaned and maintained regularly.
According to him, the agency with support of the state government engaged consultants for street cleaning exercise to ensure proper waste management.
“Every year, before the rains we carry out massive clearing and de-silt exercise, and it would be carried out soon to ensure the drains are clean.
“In the process, we are going to be cleaning and de-silting 218 kilometers drains marked for the exercise,” he said.
Ahmed said the government recently awarded N38 billion road and bridge projects designed with proper drain system, to help mitigate impact of flood.
“The roads and drains that have been completed, and the newly awarded projects will facilitate proper channelling of rain water into the rivers.
“Also the three million trees planted and other interventions to address environment-related issues are signal to the fact that government is doing something about the environment.”
Ahmed said that his agency would soon embark on massive awareness drive against indiscriminate dumping of waste, promote friendly environmental habit and encourage community engagement in waste management.
While advising residents of the state to avoid erecting structures on waterways and indiscriminate dumping of waste, Ahmed urged them to protect trees planted in their communities by the government.
In the same vein, the Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency (BASEMA) has begun sensitisation activities to create awareness on flood mitigation at the grassroots.
The Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the agency, Adamu Nayola, said the agency sponsored television and radio jingles on the need for the people to imbibe friendly environment habit.
The agency, he said, encouraged local government councils to build temporary shelter camps in flood prone communities.
“The agency alert members of the public on the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA) prediction and the need for them to be alert and start preparing on time.
“We warned residents in flood prone areas to relocate to safe places and temporary camps.
“We sensitised communities that drains and waterways must be cleared of refuse to ensure free flow of water,” he said.
The director advised people not to ignore flood alert by relevant agencies, noting that careless handling of such warnings resulted to negative consequences in the past.
He, however, called for modern drain system in the state, adding the agency would partner relevant stakeholders to clear and fumigate temporary camps to ensure prompt evacuation of victims during emergencies.
“We are using public schools as camps and officials have visited some of them in anticipation of the predicted flood,” he said.