Floods and environmental challenges in the country are caused by disregard for environmental laws, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) said.
The agency’s Director-General, Moses Beckley, said this in an interview with NAN on Friday in Abuja.
He said, “There are environmental laws and there are also town planning guidelines and restrictions.
“In other words, for any town, for any place there are guidelines as to where you should construct, build or erect anything or where you should not.
“Of course there are places that are meant for building the house.
“But in a situation whereby people now disregard such restrictions and then build in the areas where they shouldn’t build, then they are looking for trouble.
“Who is to blame?
“I was in Zaria and I discovered that the river channels were tampered with, therefore, reducing the flow of the river.
“Consequently, that had a flash back which eventually flooded on the environment and affected the people staying in that environment.
“Unfortunately, most of our people tend to do these things deliberately in order to attract relief, rights, financial relief and that shouldn’t be the case, especially in these days where you have resources dwindling.
“Such release does not come regularly and then what happens to all the properties destroyed and sometime if live lost, how do you replace, so we need to be wiser and do the needful.”
Beckley said it was good news that Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cameroonian government on releasing water from Lagdo Dam.
“And before they do anything like that, they will have to inform their Nigerian counterpart so that we do the needful.
“Now we are trying to make sure that government does the right thing by constructing a correspondent dam on the side of Nigeria to check any monumental flow from the release of water from the Lagdo Dam.
“Beyond that the Benue River channel, if the channel is dredged at the moment, I think there’s plan to do that.
“Once that is done, then it will be able to accommodate to the large extent whatever flow that is coming from the Lagdo Dam or from upstream,” he said.