Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
The Kebbi State Government has disclosed that it has budgeted over N1.5 billion to address flood emergencies as state is placed on disaster red alert.
Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Alhaji Sani Dododo, who stated this while briefing reporters in Birnin-Kebbi on the preparedness of the state for the imminent flood alert by the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), said that the state has engaged traditional rulers, security agencies, religious and other community leaders to compel communities on river banks to be evaluated from the areas.
Dododo said the state government has also set aside over N1.5 billion to contend with any disaster that might occur from the flooding.
The NIHSA has predicted that Kebbi and 13 other states in the country would be hit by floods this year as a result of the rise and overflow in the water levels of the Rivers Niger and Benue.
SEMA Executive Director Abbas Rabiu Kamba had explained that the stores of the Agency were stockpiled with relief materials worth N200 million provided by the State Government.
The NIHSA stated that Dandi, Kalgo, Koko/Besse and Suru local government areas of the state were identified as high probable flood risk areas, while nine other areas (Aliero, Ngaski, Bunza, Birnin-Kebbi, Bagudu, Augie, Argungu, Yauri and Shanga) were listed among the less probable flood risk areas in the state.
Briefing reporters on the state’s readiness, Dododo said the state received a similar flood report from Niamey, Niger Republic, that 6 of the 9 countries covered by the River Basin Authority had released water into the Nigeria’s River Niger and Benue on the 6th of September, raising the water level to 6.26 cubic meters.
He said the SEMA was fully prepared to contend with the flood situation because the state government has provided the necessary items required for resettlement of the victims.
The government, he said, has been meeting all stakeholders to create awareness and enlighten communities to relocate from the river banks to safe areas.
“We will continue to seek the services of the media, traditional leaders, religious leaders and local government administrators to enlighten the people that flood is imminent in Kebbi,” Dododo said.