Home Feature Flood: NEMA wants people living around River Niger evacuated

Flood: NEMA wants people living around River Niger evacuated


The National Emergency Management Agency says the water level in River Niger is almost at 9- centimetre which will ultimately lead to flooding in Lokoja and other eight local government areas in Kogi State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported the Head, Operations of NEMA in Abuja and Kogi, Mr Bitrus Samuel, as raising the alarm on Thursday in Lokoja.

He said that the flood might come anytime from now, urging the government to evacuate those living on the banks of River Niger.

Samuel said that the impending flood was due to intensity and duration of high rainfalls currently being witnessed in different parts of the country.

He, however, said that the agency and other stakeholders had yet to determine the exact time and day the flood would hit Lokoja which he described as a receptacle of floods from other rivers.

“Flood usually comes in the night when people are fast asleep,” Samuel said, asking people living on flood plains to leave.

According to him, the ground has become saturated that its percolation and absorption levels have reduced considerably.

Aside Rivers Niger and Benue, he said that other rivers across the country had started overflowing their banks due to distortion in pattern of rainfall and charged Nigerians to prepare for more floods this year.

Samuel later met with other stakeholders to discuss their level of preparedness for the impending flood, evacuation plans and rescue strategies being put in place by them and the state government.

He charged them to immediately commence education and enlightenment of residents on the impending flood which he said had greatest damage potential of all disasters.

The NEMA official advised the state government and other stakeholders to immediately identify high grounds, establish camps and pre -position drugs, foods and non-food items in readiness for the flood.

Samuel also called on them to discourage violation of town planning laws, check dumping of refuse in rivers and poor drainage system and control location of settlements along river banks to mitigate effects of flooding.

At the meeting, the Kogi State Deputy Governor, Mr Simon Achuba, said that the government had responded promptly and adequately to disasters, adding  that the impending flood would not be an exception.

Achuba, who was represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Idris Omade, directed immediate activation of their emergency management committees, asking them to organise similar stakeholders meetings.

The Executive Secretary of the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency, Mr Alhassan Ayegba, said that the organisation was fully at alert and that it was expanding its frontier of response to emergency.

Ayegba also stated that officials of the agency and other relevant ministries, departments, and other stakeholders had been deployed to communities that could likely be affected to educate and sensitive residents to the impending floods.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that stakeholders from fire service, Nigeria Medical Association, Red Cross, security agencies, paramilitary agencies , religious groups , relevant ministries and agencies attended the one-day meeting.

Meanwhile, the Anambra State Government says it will conduct assessment of flood vulnerable roads and streets in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi.

The state Commissioner for Works, Mr Marcel Ifejiofor, disclosed this in an interaction with newsmen on Thursday in Awka.

Ifejiofor said that the project was to forestall further damage to roads within the three towns.

He said that the contract awarded to a local construction company, IDC, by the Anambra government would entail de-silting of blocked drains.

The commissioner said the firm given the job was currently involved in the rehabilitation of the Enugu-Onitsha federal highway; the project would start in about four weeks time.

Ifejiofor said the company would construct additional basins to control the outflow of flood waters from Amawbia into drainage channels at Amawbia bye-pass end of the expressway.

“At the Kwatta Flyover Awka, we have directed a consultant to design possible link of flood channels from Sammy Sparkle area of works road into Iyiagu flood channel,’’ he said.

The commissioner said that construction work at Unizik temporary site junction, Awka, linking the flood from Arthur Eze Avenue and Emma Nnaemeka Street into Iyiagu channel was on-going.

The representative of IDC Construction Company, Mr Freddy Franklin, assured the government that the company would execute the project of de-silting the blocked drainage channels in the affected areas as agreed. NAN



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