Anambra, Delta, Rivers, 10 Other States At Risk of Floods, Says Agency

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) on Monday said 13 states across the country will witness increased floods in the months ahead.

This followed the rise in the water levels of River Niger and River Benue.

The agency said water from six out of the nine countries that make up the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) has been pouring into the country and could lead to severe flooding in some states.

The agency’s Director-General, Mr. Clement Nze said this at a media briefing in Abuja while giving an update on the situation of flooding in the country.

Nze said latest information received on September 6 from the headquarters of the NBA in Niamey, Niger Republic, confirmed steady rise into the Red Alert Zone up to 6.26 metres of the flood level of River Niger monitored in Niamey.

The agency chief listed the states, which will experience more flooding from the two major rivers to include Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Nasarawa, Kogi, Edo, Anambra, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa.

Others likely to be affected by the river flooding are Adamawa, Taraba and Benue states.

NIHSA is Federal Government’s agency mandated to monitor major rivers in Nigeria, including the trans-boundary Rivers Niger and Benue, among other functions.

Eze said, “Information received on September 6, 2019, from the headquarters of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) in Niamey, Niger Republic, confirmed steady rise into the Red Alert Zone up to 6.26m of the flood level of River Niger monitored in Niamey.

“This development was promptly communicated to Mr. President through the Minister of Water Resources. The flood sighted in Niger Republic was expected to get to the Nigerian border through Kebbi State around September 16, 2019, and would finally find its way down to Kwara, Niger, Kogi, Edo, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa states.

“This development was equally communicated to relevant states and stakeholders, especially the operators of Kainji and Jebba dams, for their necessary actions. Owing to spilling of water from the two dams for nearly two weeks, including Shiroro dam on River Kaduna, there has been steady rise in the flood level of River Niger with the attendant flooding downstream the dams.

“As at today, September 16, 2019, the Lagdo dam in Cameroon is still impounding water. It is not yet certain if there will be release of water from the dam in 2019. However, River Benue is rising steadily owing to local rainfall with attendant heavy inflows from the tributaries of the river.

“This is likely to cause river flooding in Adamawa, Taraba and Benue states.”

The NIHSA chief explained that localised urban flooding being witnessed in some cities and communities are expected to continue because of high rainfall, rainstorms, blockage of drainage system and poor urban planning.

He said it was regrettable that flooding incidents were manifesting, as predicted by the agency, adding that relevant stakeholders, especially individuals and state governments, have failed to heed the warnings issued by the agency before the flooding season.

The Director-General urged states and local governments to remove structures on floodplains, clear blocked drainages, culverts and other waterways as the country expect river and coastal flooding from the upper catchment of the Niger Basin to manifest.

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