Hundreds of schools, towns and small cities in Nigeria have been submerged in water and millions of its citizens displaced. The flooding has been considered by many disastrous and “prevented to a great extent if government had listened to warnings and advice by experts to prepare for climate change which has become a reality.”
The AllAfrica article “Nigeria: Flood - Experts Blame FG for Laxity” describes the flooding and reasons for severity. The article points out that the consensus between scientists and environmental experts is that the federal government could have done more to prevent the floods.
These massive floods also affected nations bordering Nigeria, which is No. 154 in the GAIN Country Rankings. Other countries in the region that have experienced floods include Benin (129), Niger (157), Chad (171) and Cameroon (138), which are ranked in the bottom tier of the world in the GAIN Index. This Index helps determine a country’s vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges in combination with its readiness to improve resilience. Surrounding countries such as Cameroon have taken steps toward adaptation to help prepare for climate change and natural disasters unlike Nigeria, according to the article.
In fact, of the five countries, Cameroon is the only country not in the bottom 50 countries in world in terms of vulnerability.
Muiz Banire, the past Commissioner for Environment in Lagos State noted, “The Federal Government (of Nigeria) over the years turned deaf ears to all the entreaties on her to build dams to store excess storm water and dredge rivers, especially Niger and Benue rivers to create cavity for capacity to hold water.
“Until government makes the welfare of the people the crux of governance and centre of development, we will continue to expose the people to avoidable danger and unnecessary hardships.”
Several are calling for Nigeria to take adaption seriously, and heighten awareness and the call for investments to help save lives and improve livelihoods. With the help of private and public sector investors, the people of Nigeria can develop adaptation best practices.