NIGERIA: Flooding and development work around the River Niger

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NIGERIA: Flooding and development work around the River Niger©Chinedu Chime/Shutterstock

The Nigerian government has recently partnered with the CRBE consortium in its efforts to combat flooding. The consortium will provide expertise in a project to train and control flooding from the rising waters of the River Niger.

In response to the floods that have hit Nigeria since June 2022, the Nigerian government is organising the response through the River Niger Flood Training and Control Project.It will be implemented in partnership with the CRBE consortium, formed by China Railway Beijing Engineering Group Company, China Water Resources Pearl River Planning, Surveying and Designing Company.

The aim is to reduce the floods which, since June 2022, have caused more than 600 deaths and significant material damage, according to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The victims are mainly in south-eastern Nigeria, where the deltas of several rivers, including the Niger River, which splits into branches before flowing into the Gulf of Guinea, are clustered.

Building rainwater storage tanks

“The overflow of water from the River Niger during the rainy season will be stored and then released according to navigation needs,” explains Suleiman Adamu, the Nigerian Minister of Water Resources. This rainwater will be stored in new “green and complex” reservoirs, as well as “retention” tanks.

In addition to controlling flooding in southern Nigeria, this will help control erosion and sediment transport. The CRBE consortium will also build a comprehensive flood monitoring system, protect the natural landscape and habitat, and improve connectivity between the River Niger and residential developments. According to the technical agreement signed with the Nigerian government, the consortium will have to recruit local labour during the works.

Read Also – NIGERIA: Violent floods cause the death of 600 people

The River Niger Flood Control and Training Project, which will be launched shortly, also includes a component on “development of river transport through training measures, including maintenance dredging”. At present, discussions are underway on how to find funding for this flood resilience project in Nigeria.

Inès Magoum

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