Posted on Sun 7 Aug 2016, 08:25 AM

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised communities around the River Niger to immediately relocate to safe zones owing to a likelihood of flooding in the area.

Muhammad Sidi, director-general of NEMA, gave the advice on Saturday, saying the agency had received the information from authorities in the Republic of Niger.

According to Sidi, the present water level in the river has reached a point that may result in floods comparable with those of 2012.

“Niger Basin Authority (NBA) notified Nigeria that rainy season, which started in the Middle Niger (Burkina Faso and Niger Republic) in June 2016, has led to a gradual rise of the level of River Niger in Niamey, Niger Republic. This high level of water in Niger Republic is already spreading to Benin Republic, and invariably, to Nigeria,” he said in a statement issued by Sani Datti, NEMA spokesman.

Sidi said the level of water in all the hydrological monitoring stations across the country as of Friday had already exceeded the corresponding values at that time, which he added was an alarming situation requiring prompt and coordinated action of all governments and stakeholders.

“If the heavy rainfall continues in intensity and duration within these regions of the River Niger, it is imminent that flood situation similar to that of the year 2012 may occur,” he said.

Sidi, therefore, called on all stakeholders to take necessary action in line with their various mandates. He urged states and local governments to heed the warning in order to avert imminent loss of lives and property.

He identified  states along the River Niger belt as being the most vulnerable, as well as those along its major tributaries — Benue river belt , confluence states and the Atlantic coast.


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