NEMA Places Disaster Response Units on Alert over More Flooding

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned that there will be more flooding in the coming days as a result of the rising water levels in River Niger and Benue.

This comes as Niger, Edo, Jigawa, Anambra, and Bayelsa states were all hit by floods this week killing no fewer than 70 people and displacing thousands.

The Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, warned that the situation could get worse as water inflow into River Niger and River Benue is so huge that both rivers can only accommodate less than two meters of water before they will overflow their banks into nearby communities.

To prevent further loss of lives, the agency called for the evacuation of people living in communities on the floodplains.

Also, the Director of Search and Rescue at NEMA, Air Commodore Akugbe Iyamu, said the agency had placed all disaster units across the country on red alert.

Earlier on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari had delegated authority to the NEMA DG to declare a “national disaster’’ if the anticipated flooding becomes a reality in parts of the country.

The President’s directive follows a warning by NEMA and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) that Rivers Benue and Niger had almost reached levels that resulted in flooding in 2012, which led to the loss of lives and destruction of property across the country.

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