FG Issues Flood Alert, Says 12 States at Risk  

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By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

Following an assessment by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA) showing that all indices that preceded the  2012 flood disaster were manifesting, the Federal Government Friday warned that nine states on the axis of River Niger and three others on the River Benue axis were set to experience floods.
The states at risk of floods are Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Edo, Kogi, Anambra, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta, Taraba, Benue and Adamawa.

Director, Engineering Hydrology, NHSA, Mr. Clement Nze, disclosed this at an emergency stakeholders’ meeting at the headquarters of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Abuja.

Eze, while speaking, warned that flood was eminent,  noting that the indices that played out before the 2012 flooding have actually manifested and hence the decision to raise the alarm.

He explained that as at Friday, “the height of River Niger in Lokoja, is at 10.1 as against the 9.74 in 2012 and, it is raising every hour due to the opening of the dams.

“The underlisted states are going to witness flooding due to this indices and state as Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Edo, Kogi, Anambra, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states from the River Niger axis and Taraba, Benue and Adamawa from the River Benue axis.”

According to him, “Shiroro Dam had joined Kainji and Jebba dams in spilling water and this has  contributed to the steady rise in the water level.”

The NHSA boss, stated that, “As at today, our hydrological measuring station downstream the confluence in Lokoja recorded a stage height of 10.1m and a discharge value of 21,326 cubic metres/second as against lower values of 9. 74m and 19,762 cubic metres/second recorded on the corresponding date of 2012 when the flood occurred.

“From the foregoing , it could be said that all the indices that caused the 2012 river flooding have manifested, except spillage of water from the Lagdo Dam.

“It would be noted that it was on September 29, 2012 that the maximum flood level of 12.840m and the corresponding discharge of 31,692 cubic metres/second were recorded at our station in Lokoja, downstream the confluence in 2012.

“By the 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction released earlier in the year, September 28 is the earliest cessation date of rainfall in Sokoto and Katsina, while December is the earliest cessation date for the southern coastal cities.”

He added that: “The implication of this is that the northern part of the country should be expecting more rains in the next three weeks.”

Speaking in similar vein, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Engr. Mustapha Yenusa Maihaja, said that equipment for rescue operations had already been positioned in case of emergency.

He said stakeholders will raise five committees that would go on fact finding and sensitisation tour of these states in order to prepare the communities for flood.

Stakeholders from Fire Service, Ministries of Defence, Health,  Education and  Water Resources all expressed readiness for intervention.