Flooded Communities in Nigeria Photo: Channels TV

Floods: Nigeria alerts states to prepare for emergency response

*States across Federation should identify high grounds for use as camps, evacuation of possible Internally Displaced Persons, and shelter for evacuated communities ─Honourable Minister Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq

*Over 115 communities affected by flooding in Niger, 3 people reported dead with several houses destroyed in heavy flooding in Kaduna State

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following earlier predictions by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), that there would be flooding occasioned by heavy rainfall in many states across the country this year, the Federal Government has advised various state governments to take proactive and necessary mitigating measures in addressing forecasts on heavy rainfall and flooding.

Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, disclosed this in a statement by Mrs. Nneka Anibeze, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, in Abuja, FCT, Sunday, September 13.

The Minister noted that states to experience heavy rainfall and possible flooding this year include Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Niger, Kogi, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia and Rivers.

Others are: Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Osun, Kwara, Zamfara, Sokoto, Lagos, Ondo, Bayelsa, Kaduna, Oyo, Ogun, Abia, Kano, Kebbi and the Federal Capital Territory.

Hajiya Farouq urged the states across the Federation to identify high grounds for use as camps, for the evacuation of possible Internally Displaced Persons and to shelter evacuated communities.

According to her, state need to organise Humanitarian Coordination Fora to prepare all stakeholders for mitigation and response, as well as request for relief materials for prompt response after the flood.

The minister also sympathised with the people of Kebbi, Bauchi and Jigawa States, following the heavy flooding in some areas of the states, which has led to the loss of lives and farmlands, including the displacement of many people.

“The recent flood incidents in parts of those states affirm the need for serious and urgent actions to be taken to safeguard lives and property against the predicted flood.

“The 2020 Annual Flood Outlook forecasts that 102 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 28 states will have heavy rainfall, while 275 LGAs in the 36 states of the Federation including Abuja will experience moderate flooding.

“The remaining 397 LGAs fall within the low probable flood risk areas. Unfortunately, the predicted floods have started to occur in many parts of the country, including Bauchi, Kebbi and Jigawa.

“Therefore, it is imperative to activate all plans and measures against the prediction, as the season moves toward the peak,” she said.

Farouq as well advised State Emergency Management Agencies, frontline local government authorities, and other response agencies to put in place precautionary actions, by carrying out public enlightenment and ensuring the dredging of river channels and canals.

She said: “Also, ensure the removal of all refuse and weeds from water channels, drainages and all avenues for run offs, so as to allow free flow of flood.”

ConsumerConnect also reports that barely three days after the Niger State Government disclosed that over 100 communities have been affected by a flood, at least 15 new communities have been hit by a fresh flood in the Lapai Local Government area of the state.

The communities include Egba, Achiba, Apataku, Ebwa, Arah, Adunbenku, Old Muye, Reba, Sokun, Edda, Pele, Dere, Eshi, and Yawa.

Several houses have been flooded and farmlands washed away.

For instance, Alhaji Zubairu Musa, an eyewitness, who sent video clips and pictures of the situation to Channels TV in Niger State, said a lot of property had also been destroyed.

Musa said: “Many houses and farmlands have been submerged, destroyed and a lot of properties have been lost so far.

“Some people have been evacuated to a safe place for the safety of their lives.”

In the video clips, source said the residents of the Egba community were seen on canoes, making frantic efforts to rescue their children and whatever they could rescue.

Likewise, at least three people were reportedly killed and several houses destroyed due to heavy flooding in some communities in Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The flooding, which occurred after long hours of downpour last Thursday and Friday, forced many residents out of their homes, according to report.

Abubakar Hassan, Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), who confirmed the incident during an assessment tour of Hunkuyi, Likoro, Kudan, and other communities that were affected by the flood, attributed the incident to people building houses along water channels and near river banks.

Recently, no fewer than 700 houses were submerged after hours of downpour in the state capital and other surrounding communities.

It was learnt though most of the affected structures were built with mud, their erection along water channels and on top of drainages largely contributed to their collapse.

The residents are now stranded with nowhere to go.

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