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Agency seeks govt, stakeholders’ partnership on flood prevention

An appeal has been made by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA),on the three tiers of government and relevant stakeholders to partner on flood management.

Mr Clement Nze, the Director-General of the agency, made this known today while briefing journalists in Abuja.

Nze said that the country was still expecting many weeks of rainfall in the course of the year, adding that more floods were expected in the months of September and October.

According to him, the agency is using this medium to advise state and local governments, stakeholders, multi-national companies, public-spirited individuals and philanthropists that all hands should be on deck.

“All the stakeholders should join hands to save the country from the consequences of the twin pandemic, COVID-19 and flooding.

“In the event of any release of excess water from the dams in countries upstream rivers, Niger and Benue, this year this will have more negative impact on Nigeria, which is located downstream of countries in the Niger Basin.

“The non- existence of any dam structure within the Nigeria portion of River Benue makes Nigeria vulnerable to excessive flooding in the event of sudden release of water from the Lagdo Dam,’’ he said.

He said that Niger Basin authority had informed the agency that on Sept. 10, the river Niger in Niamey, Niger Republic, attained an unprecedented level of 7.02m (702cm).

He noted that the red alert warning zone in Niamey was 6.20m and above, while the current flood level sighted in Niamey poses a dangerous threat to Nigeria which was at the lower portion of Niger Basin within September and October.

“Based on the report of the expected flood coming down from Niamey and the projected contribution by the inland rivers, both Kainji and Jebba dams on river Niger have continued to spill water.

“The Shiroro dam on river Kaduna with reservoir level at 381.48m as at 9.00am today, has been maintaining a regulated spilling into the River Niger.

“The effect of all these is that the communities in the state adjoining River Niger will continue to be highly inundated by river flooding as it is being witnessed in the recent time.

“The highly vulnerable states are: Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa,’’ he said.

The director-general said that the agency was monitoring the flood on the River Niger system as well as keeping close tab on the development of the River Benue sub basin.

He added that the agency was also maintaining close contact with the Cameroonian authorities with regard to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.

Nze expressed worry over the flood that ravaged Kebbi few weeks ago, which posed a serious threat to food security, adding that Kebbi was the highest rice producing state in the country.

According to him, it is a major setback to food security and Kebbi is not alone in this. Flood has washed away several farmland in the northern parts of the country.

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