NEMA Insists Available Data Shows Possible Flooding

In a meeting of the Emergency Coordination Forum (ECF) on October 7, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reaffirmed its stance on the warning it had previously issued about potential floods in several areas of the nation.

NEMA’s head of press unit, Manzo Ezekiel, clarified on Sunday that the agency had made material accessible on the meeting day that was sufficient to warn Nigerians of potential flooding in several areas.

The NEMA statement stated: “Attention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has been drawn to a publication by Leadership Sunday, 15th October 2023 captioned “NEMA Issued Flood Alert Without Complete Data” which to the best knowledge of the agency do not represent the true situation.

“The Emergency Coordination Forum (EFC), which was held on the 7th of October, 2023 at the instance of the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Ahmed was to intimate critical stakeholders on the present situation of flooding following the sudden release of water from Lagdo dam in the Republic of Cameroun.

“He briefed the meeting that the release of water had affected some Local Government Areas in Adamawa, particularly Fofure council area where farmlands and houses were affected in the following wards: Wurobokki ward (7 communities), Pariya ward (6 communities) Ribadu ward (12 communities) Fofure ward (2 communities), Beti ward (7 communities) Gurin ward (9 communities), Farang ward (1 community) leading to the establishment of camps in Limawa Primary school, Gadabawa, Godan gona and Borrongi in Yola North and Adamu Namtari Primary School in Yola South.”

The statement also added that, “During the ECF, the director general of Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), was represented by his special assistant, Engr. John Gbadegisin, who gave some rundown of flood reading.

“At the Yola end of the Benue River, the level of reading was 6.96 meters as against 6.5 meters in 2022.

“At Makurdi, the level of water was 9.71 meters as against 11.40 in 2022, while in Lokoja, it was 9.05 meters as against 13.05 in 2022.

“These readings however do not rule out the possibility of flooding along the banks of River Benue.

“For the River Niger axis, the meeting was informed that while Jebba Dam was spilling water gradually, Kainji Dam and Shiroro Dam (along River Kaduna) were still impounding water.

“Sequel to this narration, the DG NEMA appealed to the states government and communities along the banks of these major rivers from Adamawa to Kogi (River Benue) and Kebbi to Kogi and Bayelsa (River Niger) to continue to monitor the situation with the intent of immediately activating response strategy.

“It should be noted that the ECCF meeting had the participation of relevant strategic stakeholders including the executive secretaries/heads of SEMAs of Benue, Kogi, and Delta.

At the same meeting, the DG NEMA thanked stakeholders for their continued collaboration for efficient flood response and actions.

“He also urged state governments and stakeholders especially the Nigerian Red Cross Society to always support in providing lifejackets to boat passengers along waterways to reduce cases of deaths from boat mishaps.

He ended by reiterating the need for constant vigilance, prompt sharing of information, and taking action when there is an immediate threat of flooding.

“From the foregoing, the general public is kindly advised to contact NEMA headquarters or its zonal. Territorial operation

offices located across the country to ascertain and clarify information to avoid being misled.”

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