National News

Prepare for flood: NIHSA warns Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has asked states to prepare for flood in communities bordering the River Niger to prevent loss of lives and property.

This is contained in a statement signed by Clement Nze, NIHSA director-general, on Tuesday.

Nze identified states likely to be affected as Kebbi, Kogi, Rivers, Niger, Kwara, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Bayelsa.

He warned that the flood levels at the hydrological stations monitored in Niamey (Niger Republic) and Malanville (Benin Republic) have gotten to the red alert zone, as of August 23.

The director-general advised states to identify communities bordering River Niger to make adequate plans for timely evacuation of people to safe and higher grounds in the event of flooding.

He said the flood might arrive through Kebbi state around September 6.

“This current development portends some level of concern for Nigeria as there could be a likelihood of flooding in the above-mentioned states. This flood magnitude sighted in Niamey is expected to arrive in Nigeria through Kebbi state around September 6,” the statement read.

“The country still has many days of rainfall in the cause of the year. More floods are therefore still expected in the months of August, September and October. In the event there is a release of excess water from the dams in other countries upstream rivers Niger and Benue this year, this will have more negative impacts on Nigeria which is located downstream other countries in the Niger Basin.”

Nze said the management of Kainji and Jebba dams have been informed to take appropriate actions in operating the reservoirs.

He urged states and local governments to put measures in place to minimize the impact of the flood.

“Accordingly, Kainji Dam is now spilling water at the rate of p86.4 million cubic metres/day. This means that communities downstream Kainji and Jebba Dams could be flooded. The Shiroro Dam on Kaduna River is still impounding, though there is the possibility of spilling water in the weeks ahead.”

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had earlier warned that 102 local government areas in 28 states across the country would witness flooding.

In June, floods took over parts of Lagos, affecting areas such as Marina, Lekki, Dopemu, Iyana-Ipaja, Egbeda, Ikeja and Ajah.

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