Hydrological Services Agency Issues Flood Alert

floodThe Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has issued a flood alert to communities on the shores of River Niger and River Benue.

In a statement signed by the Director General of the Agency, Dr Moses Beckley, the agency said that communities in‎ Niger, Anambra, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kogi and Benue States will experience flood due to the latest release of water from the Lagdo and Kainji dams.

The agency advised the affected communities to relocate to avoid the 2012 incident, where lives and properties were destroyed by flood.

Flood Alert: Delta Deputy Governor Warns Residents

FloodResidents living around the coastal line in Delta State have been warned to relocate, to avoid being enveloped by the impending flood.

This warning is coming from the Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, who was reacting to the Federal Government flood alert that coastal states would witness flooding as a result of the gradual release of excess water from Lagdo dam in Cameroon.

Mr Otuaro said that the relocation was necessary to avoid recording high level of casualty when the flood sets in, emphasizing that the state was able to evacuate people to internally displaced person’s camps in 2012 because they yielded to the timely warning by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET.

The Deputy Governor expressed worry with the way some people erect structures on waterways and canals, thereby blocking the waters from flowing into its route.

He advised owners of public and private buildings to embark on clearing of their surroundings and gutters as a deliberate effort to promote good health.

The Deputy Governor equally called on traditional rulers and opinion leaders to assist government to enlighten their people about the impending flood and the need to keep their environment clean to avoid outbreak of diseases like malaria and cholera.

He said that government was committed to the fight against environmental degradation and anything capable of exposing the state to environmental hazard.

FG Reviews States’ Preparedness For Flood

floodThe Federal Government has begun a nationwide review of states’ preparedness for an impending flood, following an alert by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Fatima Mede, observed that the Federal Government had spent over 17billion naira to cushion the effect of the 2012 devastation, hence the crucial need for states to prepare for emergency cases.

The consequences of the 2012 flood was deadly as huge flood consumed houses and rendered millions homeless across 23 states.

With yet another imminent flooding announced by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency and more recently the Cameroonian Lagdo dam release, the Ministry of Environment has emphasized the need to review preparations by states.

Ms Mede asked state commissioners and relevant agencies to begin evacuation of people living along the frontline states to prevent destruction of lives and property.

She also noted that activities like indiscriminate dumping of refuse and solid waste is also contributory to flooding as the threat is not limited to riverine states.

Senate To Probe Govt’s Preparedness For Floods

Worried by perceived indifference by the federal and state governments to predicted imminent flood disaster across the country this year, the Senate has mandated its committees to investigate the level of preparedness of the government and its agencies to address the impending excess rainfall.

Moving a motion, Senator Ita Enang, expressed concern that although government ministries and agencies have been warned of excess rainfall and flooding this year, no pre-emptive approach is being taken by these government institutions and agencies to tackle the menace.

Also speaking on the motion, Senator Atai Aidoko expressed concern that huge sums of money have gone down the drain in an attempt to dredge rivers to tackle flooding but nothing to show for it.

Excessive rainfall coupled with the release of water from Lagdo dam in Cameroun last year resulted in devastating flooding in many parts of the country.

Over 10,000 people displaced in Kogi, Benue flood-NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed relief materials to the camps where over 10,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from Kogi and Benue states are taking refuge after they were sacked from their homes with the ravaging flood across north central region of Nigeria.

A technical team from the agency visited areas devastated by the floods along the banks of Rivers Benue and Niger and their tributaries in states over the weekend to assess the damage and identify suitable intervention required to address the problem.

According to the team, most of the affected areas remained flooded with most of the displaced persons resorting to taking shelter in four camps.

The flood in Benue state is said to affect the communities in Makurdi, the state capital, along the river belt, while about nine local government areas were affected in Kogi State, with Ibaji Local Government Area almost submerged.

Other local government areas affected as Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Omala, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Igalamela and Lokoja, where property, including hotels, residential buildings, offices and fishing communities along the confluence of Rivers Benue and Niger have all been submerged.

NEMA’s Director of Planning, Research and Forecasting, Charles Agbo, during a meeting with  Kogi State governor, Wada Idris, warned of prolonged flooding as more water would still be released from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon and Kainji Dam with the intensifying rains.

He also urged the state government to enforce the standard regulation on urban planning and development as well as permanently relocate communities in the flood plains to safer locations.

“Even after the flood, most of the submerged houses may become too weak and no longer be safe for habitation, in addition to the potential health hazards from the disaster,” he warned.

“Therefore, the states governments must to rise up to their responsibilities to the affected communities as the Federal Government, through NEMA, would provide necessary support the displaced persons.”

The governor expressed concern of the Federal Government towards the flood situation and requested support to reinforce the efforts by the state government to assist the displaced persons, while urging NEMA and other relevant organizations to identify measures to mitigate future occurrence of the flood.

NEMA charges FG to build buffer walls to forestall future floods

Following the flood disaster which claimed four lives in Niger state, and displaced thousands in Adamawa and Yobe states, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has asked the federal government to immediately build buffer dams around Lagdo Dam in northern Cameroon to prevent loss of more lives.

The Director General of NEMA, Mohammed Sidi told a news conference that “the agency had done its homework by activating all mitigating strategies as soon as it received a warning from the Cameroon authorities of an impending release of water from the Lagdo Dam”.

NEMA asked state governments to put measures in place to prevent impending floods and its attendant risk to lives.

The agency also announced the rehabilitation of affected communities in Adamawa State where over 10,000 people have been displaced.

According to NEMA, if the country must break the often predictable and annually repetitive flooding across the country, it is necessary for governments to go back to the drawing board to design and implement effective disaster management agenda.

The agency also said that the Federal Government must ensure that effective disaster management and rescue measures are put in place from local council to the federal level.

Meanwhile, the  Federal Government has announced plans to build a dam to prevent the yearly flood being experienced by residents of Adamawa state as a result  of the excess flow of water from Lagdo Dam in the Republic of Cameroon.

The Minister of Water Resource, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe disclosed this in Yola on Tuesday, saying that as matter of urgency the federal government will look for a lasting solution to the disaster caused by the Lagdo Dam.

The Minister was in the Adamawa state with the Minister of Environment Hajia Hadiza Mailafiya  to evaluate the damages and to commiserate with the state government over the loss of lives and properties caused by the flood  in the state.

According to Mrs Ochekpe, the federal government had sent relief materials to the affected people as she also expressed the government’s plan to evacuate those stranded in the affected areas.

She further explained that the federal government will be constructing a drainage at River Benue to curb the perennial flood in the state,  adding that there will soon be dialogue with Cameroonian government to find a lasting solution to the yearly flood.