By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
Christian Aid Nigeria has observed that one of the most common and recurring natural disaster in Benue, Kaduna and Plateau States has been discovered as increasing flood, with frequency, severity and spread of floods over the last 6 years.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the Programme Manager, Governance and Gender of Christian Aid Nigeria, Mr. Tope Fashola and made available to newsmen in Kaduna during the inception and project launch meeting with key stakeholders on Improved Early Warning and Early Response to Strengthen Disaster Preparedness.
According to him, heavy rains between July and October combined with rising water levels contribute to widespread recurrent flooding of human settlements located downstream from irrigation dams such as Lagdo dam in Cameroun on Benue River.
He also informed that there is critical gap in the national disaster response, particularly for flooding hazards revealed by previous needs assessments as not being fully informed by comprehensive integrated context specific Early Warning Systems (EWS).
“Other gaps include insufficient information management of existing risks and data, including for developing and disseminating early warning information as well as coordination especially from Federal to state and local coordinating mechanism” he said.
In this view, with funding support from the European Commission, Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Christian Aid has launched a project aimed at strengthening disaster preparedness in Nigeria with a focus on flooding by improving Early Warning and Early Response (EW-ER) systems in Benue, Kaduna and Plateau States.
“The project is for 2-year that will contribute to improved emergency preparedness, timeliness, quality of risk information and response actions for multiple natural hazards by communities, government and NGOs in a coordinated manner.
“These will be achieved by building community resilience and preparedness to flooding disaster, designing contingency plans for response, strengthening coordination among agencies of government mandated to respond to such disasters, and their capacity, while enhancing effective, inclusive and timely response to disaster in line with the national emergency and disaster response framework.
“The intervention will focus on 27 rural locations across 9 LGAs of Benue, Plateau and Kaduna states. It will directly reach 40,500 vulnerable individuals within the 27 target communities and 15 local, state and federal agencies including LEMA, SEMA, NEMA, NIHSA, NIMET, ward structures and ministries such as the Federal Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Agriculture.
“We will also work with non-state actors such as Nigerian Red Cross and other NGOs. The 40,500 beneficiaries are members of communities in watershed rural and urban areas with a record of incessant natural hazards/flooding disasters.
“The locations were selected because of their vulnerability to multiple natural hazards including flooding disaster, and unmet needs in preparedness and response.
“In Kaduna state, we will be working in the following LGAs and communities: Kaduna North LGA: Angwan Rimi, Malali, Rafinguza and Dantoro. Kaduna South LGA: Barnawa community, Chikun LGA: Angwan Romi, Television, and Nasarawa” Mr. Fashola stressed.
Christian Aid is an international development agency that has a vision to end to poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. it began work in Nigeria in 2003, working with all groups of people regardless of religion or social status. It works in the areas of Community Health and HIV, Humanitarian, Accountable governance and gender, incorporating governance and social inclusion into all its work.
It believes society changes through people’s increased knowledge, capacity to make informed and empowered decisions about their lives, take collective action that challenges the systems and structures that perpetuate poverty, inequality and injustice, and develop their own solutions to the problems they face.