June 25, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Flooding: Minister contradicts National Emergency Management Agency

Flood Victims

Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, says there is no immediate threat of flooding anywhere in the country soon.

But the minister’s assertion squarely contradicts a “serious flooding” alert issued two weeks ago by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which listed 19 states 56 communities where it said heavy rainfall could lead to concerns.

However, Utsev told newsmen in Abuja at the that the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had observed an increase in the volume of flow along the River Benue system, registering a flow level of 8.97 meters to indicate that the worries were over.

NEMA monitors had said 19 states and 56 communities (in those states) across the country were likely to witness heavy rainfall that can lead to serious flooding within this month of August.

Abia, Imo, and Rivers states are among those alerted, and the communities named, according to Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, NEMA Lagos territorial co-ordinator.

He had listed the states/communities thus: Delta: Aboh; Ekiti: Ado-Ekiti; Ondo: Akure, Idanre, Ifon, Iju Itaogbolu, Ogbese, Owo, Owena, and Ondo communities.

Others, he said, include Lagos: Apapa, Badagry, Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Ikoyi, Lagos-Island, Ojo Lagos, and Surulere; Anambra: Atani; Ogun: Ifo, Ota, and Sagamu; Nasarawa: Lafia, and Wamba; also Cross River: Ikom, and Ogoja.

Farinloye also listed Bauchi State: Jama’are , Misau, Azare, Itas, Kafin Madaki, Kari, Kirfi, Tafawa Balewa, and Katagum; Jigawa: Hadejia, and Miga; Osun: Ilesa, and Oshogbo; then Kwara: Kosubosu.

The rest are Zamfara: Anka, Bungudu, and Gusau; Sokoto: Goronyo; Adamawa: Numan, and Shelleng; Taraba: Serti; Benue: Ito, Katsina-Ala, and Vande-Ikya; Imo: Oguta, and Orlu; and Abia: Ugba.

But, Prof. Utsev said the flow level was insignificant, as compared to a flow level of 8.80 meters on the same date in 2022. He also said that reports from inland dams including Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro also showed a consistent flow regime.

“In Lokoja, the heightened flow volume along the River Benue system, the flow situation at the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers in Lokoja, Kogi State, remains within normal parameters.

“The flow level at the monitoring station downstream of the confluence records 7.80 meters, compared to 8.24 meters at the same date in 2022.

“As at today, there is no threat to lives and properties, especially those states that are contiguous to Rivers Niger and Benue.”

Yet, the minister called on all tiers of government to ensure preparedness and deploy appropriate measures to minimise the potential impact of flooding during the peak of the rainy season.

He called on states to increase sensitisation on the need for people living along the river banks to relocate to higher grounds during the peak period of rainfall.

“States and gocal governments should intensify efforts in clearing blocked drainages and also construct new ones where they do not exist.”

It is important to acknowledge the period of heavy rainfall, flooding, and flood-related disasters that usually occur during July, August, September, and October.

Meanwhile, other reports show that the 2023 Annual Flood Outlook indicated that 178 local government areas in 32 states and the FCT, fall within the “highly probable flood risk areas.”

Another 224 LGAs in 35 states and the FCT fall within the “oderately probable flood risk areas.”