Flood: NEMA Summons Stakeholders Meeting to Review Emergency Situation

•Advises governments of frontline states to move communities to safe, higher grounds

•Says Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro also expected to overflow between now and October ending

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday in Abuja, summoned an emergency technical meeting to urgently review the flooding situation currently ravaging all parts of the country.

Subsequently, all NEMA staff on leave were recalled back to office in view of the present emergency situation as its staff, including those recently inducted have been deployed to most affected states.

The meeting, NEMA said would enable the agencies save lives, safeguard livelihoods and restore normalcy in all the impacted states and to plan for further action by all emergency responders.

The Director General, NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, said this during his address at the emergency technical meeting.

He explained: “As we are all aware, quite a lot of our communities are passing through a challenging moment in respect of the flood disaster that has hit many states of our dear country.”

According to Ahmed, “Based on our communication with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroun commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by September, 13, 2022.

“We are aware that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue and its tributaries thereby inundating communities that have already been impacted by heavy precipitation.

“The released water complicates the situation further downstream as Nigeria’s inland reservoirs including Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro dams have already started spilling excess water from their reservoir and expected  to overflow between now and October ending according to NIHSA

“Consequently, we advise all governments of the frontline states to move away communities at risk of inundation, identify safe higher grounds for evacuation of persons and preposition adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items, portable water, hygiene, safety and security to enable them a fair level of comfort during periods of possible displacement.”

This actions, the agency noted, became necessary as it collectively work towards a lasting solution to the annual threats of floods.

Speaking further, he reiterated that so far, it was on record that 29 states, including the FCT have experienced heavy flooding with more than 500,000 persons already affected.

He added that the agency’s record indicated that more than 300 lives have been lost, over 500 persons had been seriously injured with more than 100,000 others displaced and living either in temporary shelters including schools, other public buildings amongst benevolent host families.

“I therefore, welcome you to this emergency technical meeting convened to urgently review the emergency situation and to plan for further action by all emergency responders.

“This meeting will enable us save lives, safeguard livelihoods and restore normalcy in all the impacted states,” he added.

He further said the release of water from the Lagdo dam in Cameroun and the excess spilled water from the Kaiji, Shiroro and Jebba dams would have serious consequences on frontline States and communities along the courses of rivers Niger and Benue.

These states the NEMA DG listed included Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Kogi states, adding that Niger Delta states including Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa were expected to record heavy floods due to predicted above normal rains coupled with the combined waters of rivers Niger and Benue as they empty into the region.

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