The National Emergency Management Agency and the Nigerian Metrological Agency on Wednesday called on state governments to prepare for more flooding following recent signals from the Niger Basin Authority.
The Director-General, NEMA, Mr Yunusa Maihaja, and the DG of NiMet, Prof Dani Mashi, gave the warning in Abuja during a flood coordination meeting with government agencies, United Nations agencies and others.
The states that may be affected are Anambra, Delta, Rivers, Imo and Bayelsa, among others.
Maihaja said the meeting was organised to support planning and information sharing on priority areas of need to respond to the needs of affected communities.
He said 27 States had experienced devastating flood disaster, noting that the agency would do all it could to prepare Nigerians for the imminent flooding.
He said, “There again is another alert of an emergency warning from the Niger Basin Authority and confirmed by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency of the rising water levels in Niger which has been at ‘Orange Alert level’ consistently for the past seven days.
“The Orange Alert is the second most severe category in measurement. The National Emergency Management Agency is hereby alerting the general public, particularly those resident along the River Niger and its tributaries in Kebbi, Niger, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Imo, Rivers and Bayesla states of very high risk of catastrophic flooding in coming days and weeks.
“In the light of the above, the agency is therefore calling on the general public in the aforementioned areas to move to higher grounds and the respective state governments to engage in sensitisation, evacuation and preparation for possible flooding.”He said the agency was ready for any emergency as its emergency response teams had been placed on high alert in the areas to coordinate all possible emergency response activities and assist relevant stakeholders for effective evaluation of the communities.
In his comment, Mashi recalled that in March, NiMET in its Seasonal Rainfall Prediction predicted high intensity rainfall in parts of the country with advice on adequate preparedness to relevant agencies.
He urged NEMA to increase its sensitisation programme, especially in flood-prone states and called on state governments to enforce relocation of those in flood-prone areas.