13 September 2017

Nigeria to Experience More Flooding As Niger Opens Dam

Photo: ICIR Nigeria
(file photo).

Many Nigerian states are about to experience severe flooding as the government of Niger Republic will soon release water from its dam.

The Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Mustapha Maihaja disclosed this at a flood coordination meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the Nigerian government had been informed by the government of Niger Republic that it would release water from its dam which had reached the orange level.

"That gives us another concern as Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams are already splitting water." he said. "The rivers in Kogi and Kebbi states are also already overflowing."

While noting that the meeting was to discuss how to tackle the imminent disaster, Maihaja lamented that most state disaster management agencies "lacked the preparedness, resources and capacity to respond" to the type of the impending disaster.

"This [release of water from Niger Republic dam] is very alarming and something we should be concerned about. We must assess the preparedness of all stakeholders in response to the flood disaster."

He said NEMA had stepped in to mitigate the consequences of current flood disaster in some states of the federation, calling on states to be prepared for the dangers ahead.

"By our record today, flood has affected 27 states while windstorm and rainstorm have affected 10 states in Nigeria," the NEMA boss said.

NEMA's record indicates that at least, 40,161 persons have been affected by flooding. There are 4,775 displaced persons in just one camp in Makurdi - International Modern Market, Makurdi.

Speaking, the Director (Engineering Hydrology), Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Clem Onyeaso Nze said "the water level we have now in Lokoja is slightly lower than what we had this time in 2012 and we are still expecting more water from Niger Republic.

"The Orange alert in Niger is expected in Benin Republic in six days but our own first measuring point in Kebbi will arrive nine days after the alert."

He said the flood will affect many states including Kogi, Benue, Delta, Bayelsa, Anambra, Imo, Rivers and Abia states.

He advised the government to dam most of the rivers in the country to mitigate against flooding.

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