Abuja -The Ministry of Water Resources has advised Nigerians to prepare for a possible outbreak of water-borne diseases due to the flood that ravaged many parts of the country. Mr Babarinde Mukaila, the Head of Climate Change Unit in the ministry, gave the advice while speaking with reporters on Thursday in Abuja. Mukaila, an environmental expert, noted that the flood-affected areas were currently facing acute shortage of clean water.
According to him, the major challenge associated with flooding is
polluted water and poor sanitation. “This creates a lot of problems for
the affected communities; aside the problems of water-borne disease,
access to clean water becomes a problem. “And you will be shocked that
some of these neighbourhoods that are affected, people have to walk
inside this water to get to their homes.
“As a result, they start developing skin diseases, so the issue is
how do we manage this fresh water in a sustainable manner in order not
to lose as much as possible into the ocean?” Mukaila said that access to
fresh water remained one of the major problems confronting the people
in the flooded areas as their sources of water had been polluted due to
According to him, the flood water came with a lot of debris, fecal
pathogens and pollutants, which have brought a lot of sanitation
challenges to those areas. The official, who had visited some of the
flood affected states on an assessment tour, attributed the disaster to
climate change. He explained that the fears associated with climate
change were becoming a reality with the volume of flooding experienced
in the country this year.
He said that Nigeria should learn a lot of lessons from the flood
disaster and put in place contingency plans to address such challenges
in the future. According to him, some of the challenges can be
addressed, if the country gives priority to science and technological
development. He said that Nigeria needed to invest in research to
mitigate the effects of climate change, noting that research and
technology were interwoven.
He pointed out that a simple adaptable technology could be used to
address some of the challenges associated with climate change in the
country. “The world is moving from MDGs (Millennium Development Goals)
concept into sustainable development and except we are ready; the
whistle has been blown, the MDGs will be winding down in 2015.
“Some other counties are already preparing for sustainable
development; those developments that are very simple, achievable and
sustainable such that your reliance on others will be minimal. “If not,
then, we will be a dumping ground for other people’s products,” he said.