The Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Yunusa Maihaja, has urged state governments and stakeholders to prepare for eminent flooding following signals from the Niger Republic. Maihaja made the call on Wednesday in Abuja during a flood coordination meeting with government agencies, United Nations agencies and relevant stakeholders. According to Maihaja, the meeting was organised to support planning and information sharing on priority areas of need to respond to the plight of affected communities. “The meeting was also to ensure proper humanitarian intervention and coordination and increase preparedness against eminent flooding.
“Relevant agencies have already been informed on the alert by the Niger Republic River Basin Authority that the Dam at that end is already full to orange level alert and that gives us serious concern. “The Dams and rivers downstream in Nigeria are also full particularly the ones in Benue, Lokoja and Kebbi and it is important to note that the three Dams downstream in Nigeria, Kanji, Jebba and Shiroro have started spilling water. “By our record today, flood has affected 27 States while Windstorm and rainstorm have affected 10 States in Nigeria.
“Early in the year, NEMA had written to warn 26 States that were told would likely be affected by flood this year and the Agency embarked on flood jingles on Television, radio and sensitisations,” Maihaja said. Maihaja said that State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and some stakeholders lack adequate capacity, preparedness and resources, which make them weak to respond to disasters when they occur.