Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), has again raised the alarm over looming flooding in Edo, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa states, respectively.
NIHSA said the flood in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Kogi states would find its way through the aforementioned states before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.
NIHSA Director-General, Clement Nze, who addressed newsmen on the subject in Abuja, appealed to communities living along the banks of the River Niger to start relocating to avoid the devastating effect.
“The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, wishes to advise that the following states downstream Kogi State, namely Edo, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa states should, therefore, be on red alert.
“The river flooding that occurred in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Kogi States will still find its way through these states before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. These states should identify the communities that are bordering River Niger and make adequate plans for timely evacuation of people to safe and higher grounds in the event of flooding.
“Meanwhile, both Kainji and Jebba dams on River Niger are still discharging excess water downstream. This invariably has contributed to the rising level of the River Niger in Lokoja. In the western part of the country, release of excess water aimed at safeguarding the Oyam Dam structure, has resulted in massive flooding incidents in several parts of Lagos and Ogun.
“Usually, the months of July, August, and September known as (JAS months) are the peak of the flooding period in Nigeria. Accordingly, it was expected that by mid-October, flooding incidents should have abetted in the far north and central states of the country, as rainfall ought to have begun to cease southwards,” he said.
Nze, further, blamed the Cameroonian authorities for releasing water from the Lagdo Dam which significantly contributed to the current flooding ravaging the country and stated that the non-existence of a dam within the Nigerian portion of the Benue sub-basin makes Nigeria vulnerable in the event of a sudden release of water from the Lagdo Dam.
He, however, said: “As at today, the flood level on River Benue measured in Markurdi is 11.28, as against a much lower 9.01 on 4-11-2012 and the corresponding flood levels downstream the confluence of the two rivers in Lokoja is 10.97m for 2019 and 8.04 for 2012. The year 2012 is taken as the reference year considering the magnitude of the flood.”