By Ejike Ejike, Abuja
States along the River Niger axis such as Kogi, Abia, Anambra, Rivers, Niger, Kebbi, Bayelsa among others risk imminent flooding as neighbouring country, Niger plans to empty its dam.
The pending flood, which stakeholders have compared to 2012 flood in Nigeria is due to commence soonest after the National Emergency Management Agency received the orange alert from Niger recently.
This is coming at a time when stakeholders revealed that Kainji Dam, Jebba Dam and Shiroro Dam are almost full and cannot contain any other water.
This is even as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), yesterday, sent out alert warning to the identified states, calling on them to scale-up their preparedness to avert imminent consequences.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting, involving Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the director general of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja said, “Following this year’s seasonal rainfall forecast by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in March 2017 and hydrological outlook by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) of possible flood that will affect many states of the federation, 27 states have experienced very devastating flood disaster already.
“There again is another alert of an emergency warning from the Niger Basin Authority ( an intergovernmental organisation in West Africa aiming to foster cooperation in managing and developing the resources of the basin of the River Niger) and confirmed by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) of the rising water levels in Niger which has been at “Orange Alert level” consistently for the past seven days. The Orange Alert is the second most severe category in measurement.
“The National Emergency Management Agency is hereby alerting the general public, particularly those resident along the River Niger and its tributaries in Kebbi, Niger, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Imo, Rivers and Bayesla states of very high risk of catastrophic flooding in coming days and weeks.”
He further noted that “in the light of the above, the Agency organized a flood coordination forum and is therefore calling on the general public in the aforementioned areas to move to higher grounds and the respective state governments to engage in sensitization, evacuation and preparation for possible flooding.
“However, NEMA wishes to confirm its readiness in emergency response. Its Emergency Response Teams have been placed on high alert in the areas to coordinate all possible emergency response activities, and assist relevant stakeholders for effective evacuation of the communities.”