Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has advised Nigerians in 10 states to be prepared for flooding to avoid loss of lives and property.
Director General of NIHSA, Clement Onyeaso, gave the advice in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, said Kebbi, Kogi, Rivers, Niger, Kwara, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Bayelsa were likely to be affected.
Specifically, he advised states to identify communities bordering River Niger to make adequate plans for timely evacuation of people to safe and higher grounds in the event of flooding.
He said the flood levels at the hydrological stations monitored in Niamey (Niger Republic) and Malanville (Benin Republic) have got to the red alert zone.
He said latest information received by NIHSA from the regional Niger Basin Authority (NBA) headquarters in Niamey indicated that, as at Sunday August 23, the flood level was 6.60m, indicating a red alert zone.
“This current development portends some level of concern for Nigeria as there could be likelihood of flooding in the above mentioned states. This flood magnitude sighted in Niamey is expected to arrive Nigeria through Kebbi State around September 6,” he said.
He also confirmed that the management of Kainji and Jebba Dams have been alerted to take appropriate measures in the operation of the reservoirs.
Accordingly, Kainji Dam is now spilling water at the rate of 1,000 m3/s, which is 86.4 million cubic metres/day.
This, he said, means that communities downstream Kainji and Jebba Dams could be flooded. The Shiroro Dam on Kaduna River is still impounding, even though there is the possibility of spilling water in the weeks ahead, he warned.
He enjoined states and local governments, stakeholders, multinational companies, public-spirited individuals and philanthropists to save the country from the consequences of flood pandemic.
“The country still has many days of rainfall in the cause of the year. More floods are therefore still expected in the months of August, September and October. In the event there’s release of excess water from the Dams in other countries upstream rivers Niger and Benue this year, this will have more negative impacts on Nigeria which is located downstream other countries in the Niger Basin,” he said.
He advised that blocked drainages and gutters should be cleared and River channels should be dredged and structures within the waterways and floodplains and flood paths pulled down.
According to the 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) made public earlier in the year by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the earliest cessation date for rainfall in the southern part of the country is December 28 while September 26 is the earliest cessation date for rainfall in the north.
Meanwhile, Two children have been killed, one other person missing, while several houses and farmland washed away following two days of heavy downpour in Birninkudu Local Government Area of Jigawa.
Chairman of the local government, Alhaji Wada Faka, yesterday, said one of the children, 10, died in a collapsed building in Kiyako village, while a seven-year-old girl died in a collapsed building in Masaya village.
He said a 40-year-old-man in Samamiya village, one of the flooded areas, has been missing since the early hours of Monday while several other persons sustained various degrees of injuries while thousands of farmland and livestock where washed away and killed.
According to him, houses and farmlands were also destroyed in Malamawar Gangaran, Babaldu, Wurno, Kiyako and Samamiya villages.
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had on August 19, held a stakeholders’ meeting and awareness campaign in Dutse, on the implications of the 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction. NEMA Coordinator, Kano Territorial Office, Mr. Sunusi Ado, had at the meeting, urged communities in the state to take steps towards effective flood prevention and control.
Represented by Mr. Aminu Boyi, an Assistant Director in the agency, Ado said there was need for communities to brace up with the realities of flooding. Ado had said that the Nigeria Hydrological Agency (NIHSA) 2020 Annual Flood Outlook had already listed 12 local government areas in the state as flood prone areas.
The NIHSA report listed Kaugama, Taura, Guri, Gwaram, Dutse, Auyo, Miga, Malam Madori, Ringim, Birniwa, Jahun and Kafin Hausa as probable flood risk areas.