Benue, Kogi floods: Niger puts river­ine com­mu­ni­ties on alert

Weekly Trust - - News - Ahmed Tahir Ajobe, Minna

The Niger State Gov­ern­ment, yes­ter­day, de­ployed dis­as­ter man­age­ment of­fi­cials and in­ten­si­fied flood alert cam­paigns across all the river­ine com­mu­ni­ties fol­low­ing floods in neigh­bour­ing Kogi and Benue states. De­struc­tive rain­storms and the con­se­quent flood have had ad­verse ef­fects, es­pe­cially in com­mu­ni­ties where ma­jor rivers have their trib­u­taries.

The state is tra­versed by eight ma­jor rivers such as Niger, Kaduna, Gbako, Eko, Gu­rara, Ebba, Egga, Mariga. It also houses three ma­jor dams, Shi­roro, Kainji and Jebba, with the fourth one in Zungeru, cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion.

The Act­ing Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the State Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (NSEMA), Malam Garba Sal­ihu, told our cor­re­spon­dent on phone that the gov­ern­ment was tak­ing proac­tive mea­sures to avert what had be­come a re­cur­ring calamity.

“With eight ma­jor rivers and trib­u­taries and three func­tional dams, what has just hap­pened in Kogi, Benue and parts of Kwara would be child’s play if it hap­pens in Niger State; so we have to in­ten­sify our cam­paign for com­mu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially those on the river banks to re­lo­cate,” he stated.

Sal­ihu said al­ready re­ports from the man­age­ment of Jebba and Kainji dams in­di­cated that the vol­ume of wa­ter in their reser­voirs as at May was more than what was recorded in the last 10 years. “What this means is that the dams are likely to re­lease wa­ter, and look­ing at the in­ten­sity of rain so far, there is the pos­si­bil­ity of flood across the state,” he ex­plained.

He said the lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas prone to flood ev­ery year in­cluded Mokwa, Shi­roro, La­pai, Borgu, Lavun, Katcha, Paikoro, Munya, Wushishi, Gu­rara, Bida, Magama, Bosso, Rafi, Edati, Gbako, Agaie, Agawara and Mashegu. PHOTO:

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