Nigeria on High Alert Over Possible Floods

As torrential rain continues to fall across Nigeria, particularly in the Northern part of the country, many states have been placed on high alert by the authorities for fear of possible floods.

Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) agency said floods will likely occur in eight major rivers and their tributaries in 2016.

Flooded areas in Asaba, Delta state..photo Premium times
Flooded areas in Asaba, Delta State. Photo/Premium Times

Director-General Dr. Moses Beckley, was quoted to have gave the warning at the presentation of the 2016 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) in Abuja on Monday, July 25.

The rivers where the possible floods are expected were listed as Niger, Benue, Sokoto-Rima, Anambra-Imo, Cross River, Niger Delta, Komadougu-Yobe, Ogun, Osun and several other sub-basins of the country.

The National Orientation Agency, NOA also disclosed in a statement signed by the Deputy Director of Press, Fidel Agu, calling on Nigerians, particularly those living along the banks of the River Niger to immediately relocate to safer locations away from the river in view of an imminent heavy downpour forecast to happen in mid-2016 as quoted by Dailypost.ng.

NOA explained that the alert was necessitated by intelligence reports from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, as well as the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN-OCHA.

The agency reported that the Niger River Basin, traversing the Republics of Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria would be flooded, warning that an estimated 105,000 Nigerians would be among the 100 million people affected along the flood path of the over two million square kilometers of the Niger River Basin.

In 2015 no fewer than 53 people died in 11 states from floods that displaced more than 100,420 people.

Thousands of houses, farmlands, and property worth billions of naira were also lost to the flood disasters in many local government areas affected in the northern states.

The affected states are Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa, Adamawa, Yobe, Gombe and Bauchi as reported by Premium Times Nigeria.

Floods are most times fatal, especially in the rural areas or overcrowded slums, where drainage is poor or does not exist at all.

Recently Nigerianreporter.com reported a flood in the Magume community of Kaduna State where a mother and her three kids lost their lives.

It’s common to find such communities without drainage in both urban and rural areas while other people have built their homes on waterways in Government Reserve Areas (GRAs).

Some residents dump refuse in the septic systems, which blocks the system. The drainage systems are constructed to allow the free flow of water but when refuse is dumped in it, it blocks the passage of water which subsequently causes floods.

Flooded community..photo Pmnewsnigeria.com
Flooded community. Photo/Pmnewsnigeria.com

This is why the government through its agencies like National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and NOA embarked on sensitization advocacy to provide information for decision and policymakers, as well as stakeholders to promote adequate preparedness, mitigation and early warning against floods.

They keep urging all those living close to river banks to relocate to higher ground or safer locations to avoid loss of life and property across the country.