The Federal Government (FG) through the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), has warned authorities in various states to brace themselves for more flooding.
Clement Nze, Director-General of the NIHSA, issued the warning in a statement obtained by The Herald on Friday.
The agency urged states to take the necessary precautions to avoid the disastrous flooding of recent years.
According to him, Nigeria is now in the midst of the flooding season, and the government, particularly at the state and local government levels, needs to step up efforts to prevent related disasters in their jurisdictions.
Nze stated that almost all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have experienced some form of flooding, and he expressed regret for the situation in Jigawa State, where over 72 people were killed.
He warned that the rivers Niger and Benue have begun to rise, and Nigeria is located at the lowest point of the River Niger Basin, which is shared by nine countries.
The NIHSA chief specifically requested that authorities in the 13 states that fall on the main course of the rivers Niger and Benue system put in place adequate measures and enhanced preparedness to mitigate any potential flooding and disasters.
Kebbi, Niger, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers, and Bayelsa are among the states affected.
Read the full statement below:
FLOODING SITUATION IN THE COUNTY: EARLY FLOOD WARNING ALERT ON THE TRANSBOUNDARY RIVERS NIGER AND BENUE SYSTEM
In following up on its 2022 annual Flood Outlook (AFO) that was released in May 2022 by the Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman H. Adamu, FNSE FAEng, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency NIHSA, wishes to call the attention of the general public, especially state and local government councils to intensify and set up efforts to avert flood-related disasters in their domains as the nation is now in the peak of flooding season.
In its press briefing on September 7, 2022, the Agency reiterated that almost all the 36 states of the federation including FCT have experienced one form of flooding or another with its accompanied disasters, with the worse-hit states being Jigawa where 16 LGAs were affected and more than 72 lives lost; while property, livelihoods, and infrastructure were damaged.
The flooding situation still persists. Presently, the Rivers Niger, and Benue system have started building up.
As we are aware, Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine (9) countries namely: – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. Our country is at the lowest point of the Basin.
This means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding.
We are now in the period of flooding in the River Niger Basin.
As of today Friday, 16th September 2022, the flow of River Niger is at Niamey, Niger Republic, upstream of Nigeria, is within the normal limits.
The situation at Kainji and Jebba dams on the main River Niger and Shiroro Dam on the river Kaduna in Nigeria call for vigilance.
The management of the three dams have commenced regulated but monitored spilling, which is inevitable at this time not only for the safety of the dams and to free up space to accommodate waters from the upstream countries but also to safeguard the lives and livelihood of the population downstream.
This is a flood warning signal and a call for a critical watch at this period.
On the River Benue Basin, however, we have been reliably Informed by the Cameroonian Authorities that the management of the Lagdo reservoir from the morning of Tuesday, 13th September 2022.
This will be a continuous process till the inflow into the Lagdo reservoirs recedes.
The water releases from the Lagdo dam contributed to the increase in the volume of flow of River Benue and its tributaries (such as River Faro and Mayo Belwa) which in turn contributed to the recent flooding in some parts of Wuroboki, Yola, Jimeta, Numan and Madagali in Adamawa State.
The agency, therefore, wishes to inform the state Governors, the general public, and stakeholders alike that the situation at the country’s inland reservoirs (Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro) and the Lagdo dam, present a likelihood of River flooding between now and October ending; hence, the need to put in place adequate measures and enhanced preparedness to mitigate any eventual flooding, particularly, in all the states and communities that are on the main course of rivers Niger and Benue System, namely Kebbi, Niger, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers, and Bayelsa.
In light of the above, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) wishes to urge the states and the general public to take necessary measures to prevent the ugly flooding menace of the past years.
Engr. Clement Nze.
Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency
16th September 2022