Nigeria: Nigerian emergency agency warns of flooding from rising level of River Niger

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - Following intense rainfall and rising water level of the River Niger in Burkina Faso and Niger Republic, the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Saturday advised communities along the river to evacuate immediately to safer ground over the likelihood of floods that may occur at any moment.

NEMA identified the Nigerian communities along River Niger belts as the most vulnerable as well as those along its major tributaries that includes River Benue, the confluence States and downstream to the Atlantic coast.

In a statement, NEMA’s Director General, Muhammad Sani Sidi, said 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 a flood that could be compared with the unfortunate experience of 2012.

“The Niger Basin Authority (NBA) notified Nigeria that the 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. This high level of water in Niger is already spreading to Benin, and invariably, to Nigeria,” said Sidi.

The water level in all the hydrological monitoring stations across the country, as at Friday, has already  exceeded the corresponding value at that time, which is an alarming situation that requires the prompt and coordinated action of all governments and stakeholders.

"If the heavy rainfall continues in intensity and duration within these regions of the River Niger, it is imminent that flood situation similar to that of 2012 may occur," Sidi cautioned.

He called on all stakeholders to take necessary action in line with their various mandates. The states and local government are to ensure observance with the threat in order to avert imminent loss of lives and properties that might certainly arise in the event of flood.

The agency’s zonal and operation offices, he said, have been instructed to continue with advocacy visits to the state governments.

Sidi also urged the states to utilize the flood vulnerability maps given to them earlier by NEMA to identify safer ground for temporary shelters in time of evacuation as well as review all their contingency plans.
-0- PANA MON/AR 6Aug2016

06 august 2016 14:01:27

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