The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has disclosed that this year 2013 will be "a year of floods". Given what was experienced in Akweyaland last year, how are we preparing our people to handle this information and prepare for the flood writes Odoh Diego Okenyodo?
Most Akweya communities are settled around the Ohmenyi river which runs from Aturukpo town on the northeast through the towns of
Otobi, Egbla, Omajaga, Adim, Ejor, Ogyoma and drains away down to the Oyongo river southeastwards. Following the earlier predicted rainfalls in 2012, many communities experienced flood as the Ohmenyi overflowed its banks. Will 2013 be any different, given that the predictions are here again?
According to NIMET the states of Zamfara, Yobe, Sokoto, Rivers, Taraba, Plateau, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Niger, Nasarawa, Lagos, Kwara, Kogi, Kebbi, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Gombe, Edo, Ebonyi, Delta, Cross Rivers, Benue, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, and Adamawa will experience devastating flood. Only Ekiti, Enugu, Katsina, Imo, Abia States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, will be spared.
So what should Akweya people do, given that Benue is listed as one of the states to be flooded? Life is of utmost importance. They should start moving to higher grounds now. Those who experienced floods last year, no matter how sparingly, should know that the 2013 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) for Nigeria presented by the Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Mr John Shamonda, says that this year's flood will be worse than last year's. About 156 local government areas are expected to experience the devastating flood, out of the 774 LGAs.
Akweya.com advises that those who can help in building resettlement locations, no matter how temporary, should begin to do so as the rains are becoming heavier. The Akpa Community Development Association (ACDA) and its component units can start working in this direction, in addition to public awareness campaigns on the forthcoming flood.
Farmlands that can be vacated should yield any valuable produce as soon as the farmer thinks is possible.
Electric poles and wires can also be a huge risk to lives and care should be taken to position them or switch off power when heavy rains begin.