Abuja—Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, has warned Nigerians living by the banks of River Niger and its floodplains to immediately relocate over possible flooding, listing Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and Kogi as states that would be most affected.
The agency gave the warning, yesterday, in Abuja in a statement signed by Mr Clement Nze, the agency’s Director of Engineering Hydrology.
He said the middle portion of the Niger Basin (Niger Republic) experienced high flows last week with the flood advancing into the Lower Niger (Nigeria).
NIHSA noted that both Kainji and Jebba dams were already spilling water downstream with the level of water in Lokoja downstream of the confluence standing at 8.69m.
“This value has exceeded the corresponding value of 8.57m that occurred on Aug. 29, 2012,” he said.
The agency attributed this to a likely rise in the sea level and tidal surge, which would impact fishing and coastal transportation.
The outlook, which is a yearly projection by the agency, further indicated that flash and urban floods were expected to occur in Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, Yola, Abuja and Maiduguri.
Others are Awka, Abakaliki, Birnin-Kebbi, Kano, Yenogoa, Abeokuta, Ado-Ekiti, Lokoja, Lafia, Makurdi, Calabar, Jos, Owerri, Osogbo, Ilorin and Nsukka.
Gombe, Suleja, Karu, Nyanya, Abaji, Onitsha, Sapele, Hadejia and other major cities with poor drainage completed the list.
Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, while presenting the outlook, explained that going by the 2018 AFO, water levels on River Niger and Benue among other major river systems would rise and remain high during the rainy season.
He raised concern that some dams in the country were getting silted up, with the storage capacity also reducing.
He said this would cause a lot of water to be spilled through the waterways.
In a related development, the agency said the flooding that occurred in Kaduna on August 23 and August 24 had started arriving Shiroro Dam built on River Kaduna.
It said: “In the event that Shiroro Dam equally starts spilling water, it will portend more danger downstream.”
NIHSA had in May, released the 2018 Annual Flood Outlook, AFO, for the 36 states of the country.
The outlook projected that Sokoto, Niger, Benue, Anambra, Ogun-Osun, Cross River and Yobe states would have high risks of river flooding.
It also indicated that Lagos, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Ondo states might experience coastal flooding.