NIHSA warns of heavy flooding from Rivers Niger, Benue between September, October

AS the rains continue to pound the country, the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, Friday, warned that there will be likely heavy flooding from Rivers Niger and Benue between September and October 2022.

The States that ought to really watch out for the predicted flooding include Kebbi, Niger, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross river, Rivers and Bayelsa.

He said it became imperative today (Friday) for NIHSA, “To call the attention of the general public, especially state and local government councils to intensify and set up efforts to avert flood related disasters in their domains as the nation is now in the peak of flooding season.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Director General, NIHSA, Engr Clement Nze, as part of the agency’s early flood warning alert on the transboundary Rivers Niger and Benue.

Nze said the flood warning is a follow up to the agency’s 2022 Annual Flood Outlook, AFO, that was released in May 2022 by the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu.

“In its press briefing of September 7, 2022, the Agency reiterated that almost all the 36 states of the federation including FCT have experienced one form of flooding or another with its accompanied disasters, with the worse hit State been jigawa where 16 LGAs were affected and more than 72 lives lost; while property, livelihoods and infrastructure were damaged

The flooding situation still persists. Presently, the Rivers Niger and Benue system have started building up. As we are aware, Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine (9) countries namely:- Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Our country is at the lowest point of the Basin.

“This means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding.

“We are now in the period of flooding in River Niger Basin. As at today Friday, 16th September, 2022, the flow of River Niger is at Niamey, Niger Republic, upstream of Nigeria, is within the normal limits

“The situation at Kainji and Jebba dams on the main River Niger and Shiroro Dam on the river Kaduna in Nigeria call for vigilance.

“The management of the three dams have commenced regulated but monitored spilling, which is inevitable at this time not only for the safety of the dams and to free up space to accommodate waters from the upstream countries but also to safeguard the lives and livelihood of the population downstream. ‘This is a flood warning signals and a call for critical watch at this period.’

“On the River Benue Basin, however, we have been reliably Informed by the Cameroonian Authorities that tye management of LAGDO reservoir from the morning of Tuesday, 13th September, 2022. This will be a continuous process till the inflow into the lagdo reservoirs recedes.

“The water releases from lagdo dam contributed to the increase in volume of flow of River Benue and its tributaries (such as River Faro and Mayo Belwa) which in turn contributed to the recent flooding in some parts of wuroboki, Yola, Jimeta, Numan and Madagali in Adamawa State.

“The agency, therefore, wishes to inform the state Governors, general public and stakeholders alike that the situation at the country’s inland reservoirs (Kainji, Jebba, and shiroro) and the lagdo dam, present a likelihood of River flooding between now and October ending; hence, the need to out in place adequate measures and enhanced preparedness to mitigate any eventual flooding, particularly, in all the states and communities that are on the main course of rivers Niger and Benue System, namely: kebbi, Niger, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross river, Rivers and Bayelsa.

“In the light of the above, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) wishes to urge the states and the general public to take necessary measures to prevent the ugly flooding menace of the past years.”