Flooding reports are increasing in Nigeria, but the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, thinks the states have a lot to do to address the situation.

First, he wants state governments to take proactive measures to minimise the risk of flooding in their areas.

He also wants states to still to the original plans laid out by experts.

Saraki asked various governments to take responsibility of ensuring the safety of their communities.

“We have to take this issue of flooding very seriously. God has blessed Nigeria in so many ways. We are not like many other nations that experience cataclysmic natural disasters that leave considerable destruction.

“This issue of flooding is something that with proper planning and proactive steps, we can minimize to prevent the loss of lives and damage to property.

“What we need to do is for all stakeholders, including governments at all levels, town planning councils and our emergency management agencies to meet.

“They ought to meet and discuss how we can put in place long-term strategies to stop flooding so that we can end this fire-brigade approach of dealing with crisis situation.

“Our state governments need to work with town planners to identify areas that are at risk for flooding.

“Additionally, we need to immediately put in place sensitization and punitive measures to ensure that people are not blocking our drainages.

“When these drainages are blocked, especially in urban centres, the water begins to accumulate during rainy season,” the Senate President observed.

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One other thing he said was required, was a comprehensive re-evaluation of the nation’s dams.

He believes the that such field study will allow Nigeria know the dams, specifically those located close to residential areas, channelling water into towns.

“Right now, we cannot leave any stone unturned. We must immediately look into our own man-made structures.

“We have to identify which of our dams and other infrastructure that are contributing to the frequency of flood and work out strategies to tone down their negative impact.

“The Senate, through our oversight powers, will continue to work to ensure that our town planning laws are updated.

“We will continue to support the executive in every way possible to enforce the codes and ensure that states that are at risk do not turn into disaster zones,’’ he added.