13 September 2017

Nigeria: Niger Basin Authority Warns of More Floods in Nigeria, Urges Caution

With the current rise in water levels in the River Niger and the increasing torrential rainfall, the country may experience another flooding only comparable to the 2012 floods, the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) has warned.

Director General of the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA), Moses Beckley, while giving the flood alert, revealed that River Niger has reached an orange alert level and any further increase in the water levels could significantly impact on people and property in flood prone areas.

The NBA is a regional body of nine-member countries in the West and Central Africa, namely: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Chad.

It said it noticed progressive increase in water level of the River Niger at 580cm, which culminated in the Yellow alert it issued on September 7, 2017.

NHSA, therefore, warned that federal and state governments should begin to prepare sites for a possible flood situation of orange alert proportions.

"Since September 1, 2017, a yellow alert on water level was reached at the hydrometric station of Niamey. This yellow alert lasted seven days until September 7, 2017 with a progressive increase in the water level until reaching the yellow level limit of 580 cm.

"The orange alert level was reached on September 7, 2017. Forecasts and gauges reading from upstream Niamey show that the orange alert situation will last for the next three days.

"The rise of water level at Niamey will propagate downstream toward Malanville station in Republic of Benin and the Jidere Bode upstream Kainji Dam station in Nigeria. People living in flood prone areas should be particularly vigilant as they are at more risk of flood," it said.

Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State yesterday said that over 10,000 people have been rendered homeless due to flood ravaging parts of the state.

Bello, who made the disclosure after visiting some of the affected areas and the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps across the state said anytime there was heavy down pour, the River Niger and Benue always overflow their bounds with devastating consequences on the people.


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