The World Bank has approved a $200m International Development Association credit for Nigeria to improve Oyo State Disaster Risk Management Capabilities.

The bank said on Tuesday that the approved fund would enable the state capital to strengthen “community-based resilience capacity and provide support for risk assessment and early warning systems in Ibadan.”

According to the bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Marie-Francoise Nelly, Nigerian cities have exposed more people to disaster impact.

“Nigerian cities are growing at a scale never seen before and are exposing more people to disaster impact. Floods and other climate-related shocks are a severe threat to the achievement of the country’s development goals.

“It is critical that these cities are able to face these significant challenges, and prepare for potential natural disasters and climate change,” Nelly said.

In a statement released by the bank, Oyo State Government had earlier requested the World Bank’s support to finance a flood management project.

“The Oyo State Government requested the World Bank’s support to finance a flood management project.

“The project will establish early warning and flood response actions and will also finance the rehabilitation of Ibadan city drains, roads and bridges, as well as restoring the flood damaged Eleyele dam,” the statement said.

The project, the statement added, would develop a long-term flood risk management framework which would reinforce “Oyo State Government’s early warning and response capabilities and leverage existing World Bank projects, such as the community and social development project in Oyo State.”

The World Bank Task Team Leader for the project, Sateh El-Arnaout, said, “By promoting a policy shift from reactive disaster response to preventive flood risk management, both the federal and the Oyo State governments have shown strong commitment to flood risk management in Ibadan.

The World Bank said that Ibadan’s poorest and most vulnerable residents were the most affected by the floods.

In August 2011, raging floods caused significant human and economic losses “primarily in housing, education, agriculture and transport.

The bank added that project investments would have considerable long term benefits, such as improved city functioning and less impact of flooding on livelihoods and other socio-economic activities in the city.

Meanwhile, the World Bank said on Wednesday that it would spend N8.9bn on the construction of rural roads across the 23 local government areas of Kaduna State.

The state Project Coordinator, Rural Access and Mobility Project, Mr. Musa Tete, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna that N7.4bn was earmarked for the construction and maintenance of 470 kilometres of rural roads.

He said that N1.5bn had been spent on the construction of 137 bridges in the state.

Tete also disclosed that the state government had remitted its 20 per cent counter-part funding.