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Don’t swim, play in flood waters, Group cautions Nigerians

Flooded community in Anambra
                                                     Flooded community in Makurdi

Mr Sylvester Itimi, the Executive Director of, the Environmental Protection Promoters Initiative (EPPI), on Wednesday, cautioned Nigerians against swimming or playing in flood waters. Itimi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that it was worrisome to see that many people living in flood plains saw the occurrence as fun.

According to him, wild animals that are also running for safety may attack any perceived human threat, following the discomfort from their comfort zones. He said parents should be conscious about children running errands unguided in these locations, as they may be trapped in open wells, septic tanks and drainages.

“There are a lot of risks associated with flooding, many people see this as exciting, thereby, swimming in them, even if you are a good swimmer, the water current and presence of debris can drown you.

“The roads are not safe too, as they have been cut off and paths flooded, many vehicles are falling into bad spots, engines soaked with water. It is advisable that journeys must be absolutely necessary, if not, people should stay safe for now,’’ he said.

The executive director said there was a need for Nigerians to take flood prevention, preparedness and management seriously, so as to reduce disaster risks.

He said institutions and other stakeholders must be prepared and adhere to early warning systems in reducing risks, adding that communities should include everyone, especially the most vulnerable in disaster management.

On activities of his organisation in flood-affected communities, Itimi said assessment and impact were being carried out, with the aim of assessing damage and interventions for victims.

“We are carrying out community engagements for early warning systems for floods and collating real victims and see how to intervene in re-integrating them back to normalcy,’’ he said.

He expressed optimism that relevant agencies would do more to provide humanitarian aid and psychosocial support to victims.

NAN quotes the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouk, as saying “flood disaster death toll stood at 603 in 2022’’.

According to her, no fewer than 2.5 million persons have been affected, while 2,407 have been injured.

A total of 121,318 houses were partially damaged and 82,053 damaged, while 108,392 hectares of farmlands were partially destroyed and 332,327 hectares of farmlands were completely destroyed.

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