The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), yesterday warned the communities and settlements along the bank of River Niger to leave now and save lives and properties against sudden over flow of the river due to rapidly rising water level.
Its Director General, Muhammad Sani Sidi, said yesterday that the chances of flooding occurring along the river bank are high in view of intense rainfall and rise in water level.
NEMA, according to him, has received alerts of the flood from the Republic of Niger that the present water level in the river had reached a point that may result in the flood that could be compared with the experience 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.
He said the level of water in all the hydrological monitoring stations across the country as at Friday August, 2016, had already exceeded the corresponding values at that time, which was an alarming situation that required the 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 added.
The NEMA DG then called on all stakeholders to take necessary actions in line with their various mandates.
He added: “The states and local government are to ensure observance with the threat to avert imminent loss of lives and properties that might certainly arise in the event of flood.”
Sidi identified the states along the river Niger belts as being the most vulnerable as well as those along its major tributaries that includes Benue river belts, the confluence states and downstream to the Atlantic Coast