Federal Ministry of Environment has hinted that six states of the federation may be seriously affected by the plan by Cameroun to release water from its Lagdo Dam.
The ministry also expressed fears over the predicted massive rains by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET and called on the residents of flood-prone areas to take necessary actions to avoid loss of lives and property when flooding occurs in their communities.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Nana Fatima Mede, who gave the charge in Abuja yesterday, warned that the predicted massive rains and release of excess water from the dam would pose serious threat to Nigerians if action is not taken.
Nana revealed that Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Benue and Kogi states would be adversely affected when Cameroun eventually releases water from Lagdo Dam.
She further said that on a general scale, the massive rains were expected to cause flooding in Sokoto Rima, Niger, Benue and Anambra, adding that coastal flooding from sea level rise and tidal surges would likely occur in Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Lagos states.
While flash-flooding could be experienced in some urban centres such as Lagos, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Birin Kebbi, Ibadan and other towns along the country’s coastline, the Permanent Secretary, expressed concern about likely loss of lives and property, as well as other negative environmental consequences. She appealed to Nigerians living along flood plains to take immediate actions by clearing their drainages, culverts and canals.
They were also asked to prepare for relocation to areas considered to be safe and remain at an alert for any sad occurrence.
She appealed to states, local governments, churches, mosques, traditional rulers and community-based organisations to sensitise their people to ensure preventive steps are taken to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and property.
Mede said the Federal Government is determined to put in place flood prevention and mitigation measures such as construction of reservoirs and drainages as well as sensitisation of people living along flood plains to ensure a conducive environment for sustainable socioeconomic development of the country.
Kogi gives quit notice to residents of flood-prone areas
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Government has reacted to the threat by Cameroun to release water from Lagdo Dam by advising residents living along the Rivers Niger and Benue to move to higher grounds.
The Deputy Governor, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, who is the chairman of flood committee, gave the order in Lokoja, the state capital after the meeting of the State Flood Management Committee.
He said that the state government was prepared to handle any negative effects from flooding that might occur this year.
Awoniyi, who said the State Flood Management Standing Committee had identified nine local governments of Ibaji, Bassa, Idah, Lokoja, Kogi, Ajaokuta, Omala, Ofu and Igalamela Odolu that could be affected by the predicted flooding, said adequate preparations had been made to cushion any side effect.
He appealed to residents of the areas to be affected to move from their domains, saying, the 2012 flooding was devastating.
Awoniyi said: “We understand the anxiety arising from the increase in water level in some other states; but I can assure that the Kogi State government is now better prepared to handle the predicted flooding. The 2012 edition which was the first of its kind has taught us what we needed to do.
“We have made provision to embark on immediate sensitisation to all the expected LGAs where the flood will affect; the television and radio jingles will still continue to inform the people; the state is also going to meet with the community leaders, traditional rulers, and other relevant stakeholders to tell them how we intend to manage the flooding. We will involve the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, the Red Cross on their expected roles to help mitigate the effects of the flood,” he expressed.
Awoniyi stressed further that the State would identify and setup IDPs camps, saying that unlike the 2012 episode, schools would not be used.