A new mobile application designed for flood forecasting, especially along the Niger and Benue Rivers has been launched by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The application named ‘Wetin App’ is a collaborative project of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and it will be available on Google App Store.
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture say Nigeria sought the help of the international agency to develop the application following the devastating flood of 2012 which led to huge destruction of farms, houses and human lives.
The Regional Director for Africa at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) – Professor Timothy Olalekan Williams, said the application was developed using data from the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency and the satellite.
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (Nema), floods resulting from heavy rains killed 363 people in 2012, while more than two million Nigerians were forced from their homes.
The floods, described as the worst in five decades affected many areas of the country along the River Niger and River Benue.
Poor or blocked drainage, building in flood channels cause flooding after heavy rainfall in many Nigerian cities and rural areas.
Recently, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency warned communities and people living around major rivers and tributaries in the country to “immediately relocate to safer and higher grounds.”
NIHSA said the evacuation advice became necessary to enable residents of the affected places to escape danger from imminent flooding as a result of heavy rainfall and rise in water levels in Niger Republic and other countries within the Niger basin.
Director-general of the agency, Moses Beckley, said the flood warning was based on information from the Niger Basin Authority, which has its headquarters in Niamey, Niger Republic, and local measurement of water levels.
That was less than one week after the National Emergency Management Agency issued a similar advice urging communities along the River Niger to evacuate immediately to safer ground over the likelihood of floods.