National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has raised a fresh alarm over an impending disaster that may rock the country as soon as the Niger Republic open its already overflowing dam.
Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja disclosed Wednesday that the government of Niger Republic has already alerted his agency on the plan to release water from its dam which he said had reached the orange level.
Speaking in Abuja at a flood coordination meeting organised by NEMA to discuss the issue with all other relevant agencies in attendant, Maihaja said the discuss became very important on how to tackle the imminent disaster.
The NEMA DG lamented that most state disaster management agencies “lacked the preparedness, resources and capacity to respond” to the type of the impending disaster, hence the need for special preparations.
“We got an alert through Niger Republic River Basin that Dam at that end is already full. That gives us another concern as Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams are already splitting water. Likewise, the rivers in Kogi and Kebbi states are also already overflowing.
“This [release of water from Niger Republic dam] is very alarming and something we should be concerned about. We must assess the preparedness of all stakeholders in response to the flood disaster.
“By our record today, flood has affected 27 states while windstorm and rainstorm have affected 10 states in Nigeria,” the NEMA boss said.
Available record shows that at least, 40,161 persons have been affected by flooding. There are 4,775 displaced persons in just one camp in Makurdi – International Modern Market, Makurdi.
In his contributions, the Director (Engineering Hydrology), Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Clem Onyeaso Nze said, who said that the Kogi state government did not clear it drainages before the flood, stated that “the water level we have now in Lokoja is slightly lower than what we had this time in 2012 and we are still expecting more water from Niger Republic.
“The Orange alert in Niger is expected in Benin Republic in six days but our own first measuring point in Kebbi will arrive nine days after the alert.”
While calling on government to dam most of the rivers in the country to mitigate against flooding, declared that the impending flood will affect many states including Kogi, Benue, Delta, Bayelsa, Anambra, Imo, Rivers and Abia states.
“Many Nigerian states are about to experience severe flooding as the government of Niger Republic will soon release water from its dam.”
Also speaking, representative of NIMET at the meeting Joseph Alozie, said his agency had warned the nation about the impending disaster this year.
The agency recommended that NEMA should ensure proper sensitisation, saying if it ia possible to move people away from the flood prone areas it should be done early.