The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised the governments of Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and other frontline states to move communities at risk of flooding to safer grounds.
Other frontline States include; Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa.
NEMA Director-General, Mustapha Ahmed, gave the advice at an emergency technical meeting on flood situation in Nigeria Monday in Abuja.
Ahmed said that the warning became necessary as the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon had begun to release excess water from its reservoir, which will in turn get to Nigeria.
He added that some of the states were also expected to record heavy floods due to predicted above normal rains, coupled with the combined waters from the rivers Niger and Benue.
“Based on our communication with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroun have commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by Sept. 13.
“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 Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency.
“According to Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, 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,” he said.
He added that it was important for all the states governments of the frontline states to also identify safe higher grounds for evacuation of persons that might be affected.
Ahmed added that there was need to also stockpile food and non-food items, potable water, hygiene, safety and security to enable the affected persons to have a fair level of comfort during the period of possible displacement.
On its part, the Director-General said that the agency was already monitoring the situation and would consider the activation of Emergency Operation Centres to coordinate flood disaster response in all the states at risk.
He added that all the agency’s staff on leave had been recalled back to the office in view of the emergency situation, as it had also deployed search and rescue equipment to the most affected states.
He, however, called on the State Emergency Management Agencies of the identified states to organise regular meetings to get adequately prepared for the impending disaster.
The meeting had in attendance representatives from Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Ministry of Environment, NIHSA, Nigeria Red Cross and FRSC, among others