By Josephine Ella-Ejeh
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has directed Kebbi, Niger, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Imo, Rivers and Bayesla states Governments to begin immediate evacuation of their citizens cohabiting in flood prone terrain, ahead of an imminent flood disaster in the coming days.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the disaster management agency after a flood coordination forum held on Wednesday.
Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, Engr. Mustapha Y. Maihaja said in the statement, recalled previous forecast by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in March 2017 and hydrological outlook by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) of possible flood that would affect many states of the Federation, which he noted came true with 27 states already devastated by the flood disaster.
He said: “There again is another alert of an emergency warning from the Niger Basin Authority ( an intergovernmental organisation in West Africa aiming to foster cooperation in managing and developing the resources of the basin of the River Niger) and confirmed by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) of the rising water levels in Niger which has been at “Orange Alert level” consistently for the past 7 days. The Orange Alert is the second most severe category in measurement.”
Maihaja said like it did previously, NEMA “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 Bayelsa states of very high risk of catastrophic flooding in coming days and weeks.”
“In the light of the above the Agency organized a flood coordination forum held today 13th September 2017 and is therefore calling on the general public in the aforementioned areas to move to higher grounds and the respective state governments to engage in sensitization, evacuation and preparation for possible flooding,” he added.
The NEMA boss however, confirmed the agency’s readiness in emergency response, as according to him, “its Emergency Response Teams have been placed on high alert in the areas to coordinate all possible emergency response activities, and assist relevant stakeholders for effective evacuation of the communities.”