FG to delineate flood plains for communities’ safety — Minister

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sarah_ochekpeThe Federal Government is to embark on the mapping and delineation of flood plains in the country, as part of efforts to control flooding and halt further dislocation of communities.

The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe disclosed this on Saturday in Kaduna during the 7th Engr. Mahmud Armiya’u Memorial Lecture organised by the Kaduna branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers.

The lecture had as its theme:“Water Resources: Its Management and Transportation.”

“Mapping and deleanation of flood plains shall be embarked upon as a way of alerting communities residing in these areas and keeping them off flood plains for safety sake,” the minister told the engineers.

She said the government would also vigorously construct dams “identified as having huge potentials of assisting in flood control”.

The minister added that the government would take inventory of all water infrastructure nationwide to determine their safety level and ensure that they could function “even under adverse conditions”.

Ochekpe described the increasing frequency of flooding in the country as alarming, saying an integrated approach to water management was necessary in checking the trend.

She advised state governments and agencies involved in water management to partner with her ministry to ensure proper management of water resources in the country.

Earlier, the Chairman of the event, retired Justice Mamman Nasir, said Nigeria must continue to invest in technical education if it hopes to attain any level of development.

“Any country without proper technical education will never make fruitful progress”, he said, adding that Nigerian engineers have made huge contributions to national development.

The former president of the Court of Appeal, advised the government to devise special programmes to encourage indigenous professionals for the good of the nation.

“I support anybody bringing in capital into Nigeria, but not professionals, because our people have the capacity to do the work.”

The Kaduna NSE Chairman, Abdul Abdu, said the Mahmud Armiya’u Foundation was instituted in 2002 and had offered financial support and recognition to 45 engineering students from the North.

He said the foundation was also instituting a professorial chair and fellowship in universities and polytechnics.

The late Armiya’u was the first executive and chartered engineer in the Northern region and was a corporate member of the NSE in 1969.

He retired from the Northern Region Government as permanent secretary in 1972 and was later appointed commissioner in the defunct North Central State (now Kaduna and Katsina states).

A total of eight engineering students from seven universities were honoured at the event.

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