From Okwe Obi, Abuja

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and 10 other states would be affected by the spilling of excess water from the Kainji and Jebba dams reservoirs.

Other states to experience heavy floods due to heavy rainfall coupled with the combined water of rivers Niger and Benue include Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa.

NEMA’s Director General, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, spoke at an Emergency Technical Meeting on the flooding situation in Nigeria with stakeholders in Abuja.

He said Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had reported that the release would have serious consequences on frontline states and communities along the courses of Rivers Niger and Benue.

Ahmed said based on the communication between NEMA and NIHSA, the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by September 13, stressing that the water would complicate the situation.

According to him, Nigeria’s inland reservoirs like Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro are also expected to overflow between now and the end of October this year.

He explained that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue and its tributaries, thereby inundating communities that have already been impacted by heavy precipitation.

Ahmed also disclosed that more than 100,000 people have been displaced due to heavy flooding that has affected 29 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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He noted that they were living either in temporary shelters like schools, churches and other benevolent host families.

He said the heavy flooding indicated that more than 300 lives had been lost and over 500 persons were seriously injured.

Ahmed advised government at all levels of the frontline states to move away communities at risk of inundation, identify safe higher grounds for evacuation of persons and preposition adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items, portable water, hygiene, safety and security.

He said: “Based on our communication with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon have commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by 13th September, 2022.

“We are aware that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue and its tributaries thereby inundating communities that have already been impacted by heavy precipitation.

“The released water complicates the situation further downstream as Nigeria’s inland reservoirs including Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro are also expected to overflow between now and October ending according to NIHSA.

“According to NIHSA, Kainji and Jebba dams have already started spilling excess water from their reservoirs.

“This will have serious consequences on frontline States and communities along the courses of rivers Niger and Benue. This states include, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Kogi states.

“Niger Delta states including Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa are expected to record heavy floods due predicted above normal rains coupled with the combined waters of rivers Niger and Benue as they empty into the region.”

On his part, NIHSA’s Director General, Clement Eze, said it was the duty of the federal government to warn and advise states government on the dangers ahead hoping that they heed the warning and put up preventive measures to protect the citizens of their states.

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Source: news