Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad Sani Sidi, on Saturday advised communities along the river Niger to evacuate immediately to safer ground over the likelihood of floods that may occur at any moment from now.
Sidi, in a release made available to journalists in Abuja, disclosed that this became necessary following intense rainfall and rise in water levels, adding that the agency has received alerts of the flood from information given by the authorities in the Republic of Niger that the present water level in the river has reached a point that may result in the flood that could be compared with the unfortunate experience of 2012.
According to him, “Niger Basin Authority (NBA) notified Nigeria that rainy season, which started in the Middle Niger (Burkina Faso and Niger Republic) in June, 2016, has led to a gradual rise of the level of River Niger in Niamey, Niger Republic. This high level of water in Niger Republic is already spreading to Benin Republic and, invariably, to Nigeria”.
He stated that the level of water in all the hydrological monitoring stations across the country, as at Friday 5 August 2016, have already exceeded the corresponding values at that time, which is an alarming situation that requires the prompt and coordinated action of all governments and stakeholders.
According to the information available to NEMA, “If the heavy rainfall continues in intensity and duration within these regions of the River Niger, it is possible that flood situation similar to that of the year 2012 may occur.”
Further details later