NEMA Advises State Government To Evacuate Communities That Are At Risk Of Flooding

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has urged the government of the frontline States to relocate communities at risk of flooding, identify safer, higher grounds for people to be evacuated to, and preposition adequate stockpiles of foods and non-food items, portable water, hygiene supplies, safety precautions, and security to give people a reasonable level of comfort during periods of potential displacement.

The Director General, of NEMA, Ahmed Mustapha advised on Monday, 19th September 2022 during the emergency technical meeting on the flood situation in Nigeria held at NEMA Headquarters, Abuja.

“This action becomes necessary as we collectively work towards a lasting solution to the annual threats of floods, Mustapha said.

He also called on the media to support NEMA in the sensitization of the public to enable them to comply with early warning messages effectively.

The Agency further said it is monitoring the situation and will consider the activation of Emergency Operation Centres to coordinate the flood disaster response in all the States at risk.

Meanwhile, NEMA has promised to continue working with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NISHA) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) to downscale the impact-based weather forecast to the public as extreme weather events unfold.

In his remarks, the Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Engr Clement Onyeaso Nze called on States and Local Government Councils to intensify and step up efforts towards averting floods in their domains as the nation is in the peak of the flooding season.

The DG, further stated that the 2022 Annual Flood Outlook, (AFO), presented by the Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, in May this year is categorized into three (3) different Scenarios for the duration of the rainy season.

“Seasonal Flood Outlook for April, May, and June (AMJ) as Scenario I, Seasonal Flood Outlook for July, August, and September (JAS), as Scenario II, and Seasonal Flood Outlook for October and November (ON), as Scenario III” he further explained.

The General Outlook he noted showed that 233 Local Government Areas (LGA’s) In 32 States of the Federation and the FCT fall within the highly Probable Flood Risks Areas while 212 LGA’s In 35 States of the Federation including FCT fall within the Moderately Probable Flood Risk Areas and the remaining 329 LGA’s fall within the Probable Flood Risks Areas.

“The several States have already experienced a high degree of flooding incidents with attendants incalculable disasters and losses as at today, with the worst hit State as Jigawa, others are; Lagos, Yobe, Anambra, Imo, Ogun, Nasarawa, Rivers, Enugu, Ekiti, Delta, Taraba, Katsina, Maiduguri, Borno, Oyo, Ondo, and Kaduna he added. He noted that virtually all the flood incidents were caused by the overflow of silted rivers and poor drainage systems as a result of localized rainfalls that generated flash/urban flooding in the urban areas.

“Kainji and Jebba Dams on River Niger are still impounding water into their reservoirs, while Shiroro Dam on River Kaduna is equally impounding water, “there is no release of water from any of the Dams within and outside Nigeria” Nze noted.

The DG further informed that the Agency is closely monitoring the situation as the nation is in the critical months, stating that River Niger at Niamey, Niger Republic is within the normal limits, as well as River Benue. He stressed that the Agency is in close contact with the Cameroonian authorities about flood Scenarios in the Upper Catchment of the Sub-Basin.

“Impoundment of water into the Lagdo Dam in Cameroun is still in progress, under normal circumstances it is usually around the 3rd week of September that the Dam reservoir could approach an elevation of 213m” He emphasized that spillage of water can only take place once the reservoir level approaches 216m. “There is no release of water from Lagdo Dam as the situation is being closely monitored by the Agency”

While calling on states and the general public to take preventive measures to avert the ugly flooding incidents of the past years, he also recommended some measures that will help to forestall the menace of flooding for the nation’s socio-economic growth. They include; an improved system for flood monitoring, flood forecasting, and flood early warning; Enforcement of town planning codes in the country to allow for the construction of housing, and drainage structures as outlined by town planners.