The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has released a Briefing on the Flood Situation in Nigeria on Wednesday. The report was drafted and given by the Niger Basin Authority.
The report was made available to the media by the Agency’s Acting Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, Kayode Fagbemi in Abuja.
The Niger Basin Authority (an intergovernmental organisation in West Africa aiming to foster co-operation in managing and developing the resources of the basin of the River Niger) has given information on the observed and predicted flow situations at most of Nigeria’s monitoring stations especially on Rivers Niger and its tributaries.
The information shows that since 1 September, 2017, a yellow alert on water level was reached at the hydro-metric station of Niamey. This yellow alert was said to have lasted 7 days until 7th September, 2017 with a progressive increase of water level until reaching the yellow level limit of 580 cm.
The Orange alert level was reached on 7th September, 2017. Forecasts and gauges reading from upstream Niamey show that this orange alert situation lasted for 3 days and any progressive increase of water levels could have significant impacts on people and property in the downstream.
Further information from Niger Basin Authority revealed that the rise of water at Niamey will propagate downstream toward Malanville station in the Republic of Benin and the Station of Jidere Bode upstream Kanji Dam in Nigeria.
In addition, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NISHA) confirmed that Jebba and Kanji Dams have started to release water from their dams to accommodate the inflow from Niger River upstream.
Therefore there is a looming flood incident that is gravitating towards Kogi State, which will invariably affect States downstream Kogi State.
The flood that ravaged Makurdi few weeks backs is advancing towards Lokoja in Kogi State. Meanwhile, both Kainji and Jebba dams on River Niger and Shiroro Dam on River Kaduna are already spilling excess water (flood) into River Niger.
These floods from both sides of River Benue and upstream of River Niger have their travel time to converge at the Confluence in Lokoja. This convergence at Lokoja, Kogi State is expected to occur in a few days’ time. This portends danger for the States of, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Rivers, Imo, Rivers, Bayelsa.
Governments and stakeholders at various levels in the States of Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Rivers, Imo, Rivers, Bayelsa that may be affected by the flood should be warned to take appropriate measures to forestall colossal damage to life and property.
As at 13/09/2017, NIHSA’s measuring equipment downstream of the Confluence point in Lokoja is 9.36m. This value is about the same value on 13/09/2012 when the country witnessed the worst devastating flood in recent time.
The National Emergency Management Agency is in close contact with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency to receive update information as the water level increases. Furthermore, NEMA organized a Flood Response Coordination Forum on the, 13 September to share information with Stakeholders including States on the need to develop a harmonised response plan for effective response.
Jingles and early warnings are also given to the States that may face the impacts of the increase flow of water.
The State Governments are called upon to step up flood preparedness activities which should include:
Identify all the communities vulnerable to flood in their States
Identify higher grounds where people can be evacuated
Begin evacuation of people as soon as possible
Make adequate plan for Camps for people that may be displaced.