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CSDevNet sensitises Kogi State Multi-Stakeholders on Early Warnings and Response System of Flooding

Group photograph
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Group photograph

In a proactive effort to mitigate the devastating impact of flooding in Kogi State, the Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) organized a sensitisation workshop on the Early Warning and Response System for Flooding on Thursday, 2nd November, 2023.

The event brought together a diverse group of multi-stakeholders, including government officials, non-governmental organisations, community leaders, and experts, to enhance the state’s resilience to flooding.

Kogi State, known for its geographical vulnerability to flooding due to its proximity to the confluence of the Niger and Benue Rivers, has experienced severe flooding in the past, causing loss of lives and significant damage to properties.

This workshop by CSDevNet aims to increase awareness and preparedness within the state.

The event, held at the state’s capital – Lokoja, commenced with an opening address by Mr Abu Stephen, the National Network Coordinator (NNC) of CSDevNet.

Mr Abu Stephen, the National Network Coordinator (NNC) of CSDevNet

He emphasised the importance of a collaborative approach in addressing the challenges posed by flooding and the need for timely and effective responses to protect the lives and livelihoods of the people of Kogi State.

Mr Stephen stated, “The vulnerability of Kogi State to flooding necessitates the establishment of a robust Early Warning and Response System to minimize the adverse effects of such disasters. We believe that by bringing all relevant stakeholders together, we can work collectively to safeguard the people of this state.”

The Director of the Department of Climate Change, Kogi State Ministry of Environment, Mrs Enehe Dorcas, expressed her gratitude towards the Governor and gave a brief introduction on the programme explaining the causes and effects of global warming and the dangers it could cause on agriculture, properties, and the economic status of the country.

She reiterated that the workshop aimed at building participants on capacity of warning and response system to withstand flooding.

“Climate change mitigation and adaptation actions requires institution at all levels of governance working together towards building a resilient state adding that there is an urgent need to pay attention to this and urges participants to contribute input,” stated Mrs Enehe.

The representative of Kogi State Management Board, Mr Bimbola Kola, outlined the ministry and government’s commitment to improving the state’s flood resilience.

Cross-section of participants

He said that flood in Kogi State is becoming alarming hence early awareness is necessary.

“The Kogi State Government recognizes the importance of proactive measures to prevent and respond to flooding. We are working closely with organisations like CSDevNet to develop a comprehensive Early Warning and Response System that will safeguard our communities,” he added.

Following the opening remarks, the workshop featured a series of presentations and discussions that highlighted the key components of the Early Warning and Response System for Flooding, including the roles of government agencies, community leaders, and NGOs.

Experts in the field of hydrology and meteorology such as Dr Alege Gbenga Olorunshola from the Department of Biotechnology, Federal University Lokoja – Kogi State, provided insights into the technical aspects of monitoring and predicting flood events.

In his presentation, Dr Alege succinctly illustrated how flooding had become one of the major issues in Kogi State.

He said, “Farmers loss all or almost all their farm products as a result of flood annually. It continually affects nine local government areas along the Niger and Benue Rivers including Lokoja, Kogi-koto, Ajaokuta and Ofu.”

He also mentioned how the strength of houses along those areas have been reported to diminish following every flood disaster.

Dr Alege proposed a remedy to the situation by introducing participants to enhanced farm products that can grow in water or flood water.

Dr Alege

According to his presentation, the things to put in place to have robust warning system include: Knowledge of risk, Adequate monitoring and warning system, Communication and dissemination, and Emergency response.

Dr Alege recommended that the government should: Invest in monitoring stations, Put in place effective communication of dissemination system, Put in place trans-boundary coordination, Promote communities engagement, Invest in capacity building, Monitor and evacuate the effectiveness, and Consider dredge, the rivers to accommodate more water.

Participants engaged in group discussions and practical exercises, which encouraged them to develop strategies for effective communication, disaster preparedness, and swift response in the event of a flood warning.

The workshop also stressed the importance of community involvement and the need to educate citizens on how to respond to flood alerts.

In a closing statement, the NNC reaffirmed CSDevNet’s commitment to supporting Kogi State in building resilience to flooding and urged all stakeholders to work together to put the strategies discussed during the workshop into practice.

The sensitisation workshop organized by CSDevNet marks a significant step toward a more coordinated and effective approach to addressing the recurring challenge of flooding in Kogi State.

By fostering collaboration between government agencies, civil society organizations, and local communities, the state is better prepared to respond to future flood events, ultimately protecting the lives and livelihoods of its residents.

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