NEMA predicts flooding in 13 States, calls for caution

NEMA PREDICTS FLOODING IN 13 STATES, CALLS FOR CAUTION File Picture of NEMA Officials

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that 13 States will experience heavy floods in 2022.

The States, according to the agency are: Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa.

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The agency also said the country should expect Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams to overflow between now and the end of October.

The agency explained that the situation may be worsened due to the release of excess water from the Lagdo dam in the Republic of Cameroon by its operators.

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The Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed revealed these in Abuja during an emergency meeting aimed at reviewing the emergency and planning for further action by all responders.

He said: โ€œBased on our communication with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon have commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by 13th September 2022.

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โ€œWe are aware that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue and its tributaries thereby inundating communities that have already been impacted by heavy precipitation.

โ€œThe released water complicates the situation further downstream as Nigeriaโ€™s inland reservoirs including Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro are also expected to overflow between now and October ending according to NIHSA.

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โ€œAccording to NIHSA, Kainji and Jebba dams have already started spilling excess water from their reservoirs.

โ€œThis will have serious consequences on frontline States and communities along the courses of rivers Niger and Benue.

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โ€œThese States include, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Kogi states.

โ€œNiger Delta states including Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa are expected to record heavy floods due to predicted above normal rains coupled with the combined waters of rivers Niger and Benue as they empty into the region.โ€

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On the impact of the flood, he said: โ€œQuite a lot of of our communities are passing through a challenging moment in respect of the flood disaster that has hit many states of our dear country.

โ€œSo far, it is on record that 29 States including the FCT have experienced heavy flooding with more than 500,000 persons already affected.

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โ€œOur record indicates that more than 300 lives have been lost, over 500 persons are seriously injured with more than 100,000 others displaced and living either in temporary shelters including schools, other public buildings and amongst benevolent host families.

He also advised State governments to evacuate those at risk and stockpile food and non-food items ahead of the floods.

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He said: โ€œI want to advise all the governments of the frontline states to move away communities at risk of inundation, identify safe higher grounds for evacuation of persons and preposition adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items, potable water, hygiene, safety and security to enable them a fair level of comfort during periods of possible displacement.

โ€œThese actions become necessary as we collectively work towards a lasting solution to the annual threats of floods.โ€

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On efforts made to mitigate the impacts of the flood, the DG said all NEMA staff that were on leave have been recalled to the office because of the present emergency.

He also said motorised and inflatable boats for search and rescue as well as mobile water purification plants to provide portable water where sources of drinking water have been compromised have been deployed to the most affected states.

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