NEMA fears floods of deadly 2012 proportions

Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi

Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi

EMEKA OKONKWO 

ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is wary of the recurrence of the flooding that killed hundreds and displaced over 2 million people in 2012.

The fears follow the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) notifying Nigeria the rainy season, which started in the Middle Niger (Burkina Faso and Niger Republic) in June had 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.

According to the information, “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.”

The floods in 2012 began in early July and killed 363 people and displaced over 2,1 million people as of November.

According to NEMA, 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states were affected by the floods, termed as the worst in 40 years, and affected an estimated total of seven million people.

This past weekend, communities along the Niger River were advised to evacuate immediately to safer ground.

Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi, identified the areas along the Niger Rriver 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.

He then called on all stakeholders to take necessary actions in line with their various mandates.

The states and local government are to ensure observance with the threat in order to avert imminent loss of lives and properties that might certainly arise in the event of flood.

The agency’s Zonal and Operation offices, he said, had been instructed to continue with advocacy visits to the state governments. – CAJ News

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