Nigeria loses about N1bn annually to flood, the Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Halima Alao, said on Tuesday, quoting a 2003 survey.
Alao was speaking at a national workshop on ?Flood Early Warning System?? organised by the ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme in Abuja.
She said, ?By 2007, damages associated with flood in the country had escalated by more than 100 per cent.?
She said that the ministry had undertaken various interventions to tackle the problem, including land degradation, mapping and developing a comprehensive national erosion and flood control policy.
It also developed guidelines on best practices in the integrated watershed management for erosion and flood control, the minister said.
Alao said the ministry would embark on the construction of flood control structures in various parts of the country.
?Such structures include channels, culverts, drainage gates, drop inlet structures, earth retention ponds and river banks improvement works,?? she said.
She attributed the causes of flooding to rivers overflowing their flood plains and the failure of structures built for water supply and flood control, among others.
She said the workshop was aimed at repositioning the country for effective management of flood problems in the country.
Earlier, the Minister of State, Chief Chuka Odom, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Otaki Oyigbenu, said that flood had assumed a national disaster status.
He said, ?Hundreds of hectares of farmland have been submerged leading to crop failure and consequent loss of agricultural revenue thereby compounding the national food crises.?
Meanwhile, property worth N32.8m were lost to the recent flood disasters in three local government areas of Katsina State.
The Executive Director of the state Rehabilitation and Emergency Relief Agency, Alhaji Hassan Suleiman, made this known on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
He said the flood disasters which occurred in Batsari, Ingawa and Baure Local Government Areas, had displaced more than 300 families.