MR Joseph Effiong, an environmental expert, has urged the Federal Government to enforce building codes and provide effective flood forecasting warning systems to mitigate flood risk across the country.
Effiong made the call in an interview with News Agency (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
He said that proactive urban planning, strict enforcement of building codes and development control regulations were required to reduce flooding and its consequences across the country.
“Frequent floods have led to the loss of lives and destruction of property in both coastal and landlocked cities across the nation, particularly where floodplains have been developed without recourse to space standards.
“Building code has contributed significantly to mitigate flooding.
“It is not only to provide building codes or building planning but it is important to obey the codes.
“Nigerians are used to living without obeying the laws and regulations of the country.
“We will set law and we will still disobey the order, it is not good, we should learn how to discipline ourselves by obeying the laws of the country.
Effiong said that the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) recently announced that Nigerians should be prepared for more floods within the year.
He added that the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) report by the agency should be made available to all parts of the country, especially areas where flooding had become an annual occurrence to prepare to people for impending danger.
“I suggest that the agency should be releasing flood forecast and flood early warning report early every year and if possible making it a daily or monthly report.
“The media and the agency should be working together to ensure that the report is released adequately to the public, just like the Nigeria Metrological Agency, (NiMeT) releases weather forecast daily.
“I think the idea will go a long way to keep the public informed and help them do the necessary action to ensure that flooding is tackled at the appropriate time,’’ he said.
Effiong, however, called on all the relevant stakeholders as well as Nigerians to heed flood warnings and desist from building structures on waterways, blocking drainage.
“I am urging Nigerians to avoid actions that could impede the free and easy passage of water through its natural courses to avert devastating flood disasters,’’ he said.