Niger govt advises riverine communities to relocate over flood

By Ummi Ismaeel,

Niger State government has warned riverine communities, particularly those living along the flood prone areas of River Niger tributaries to pay attention to the rising water level and relocate to avoid the inherent danger.

This is coming against the backdrop of warning by the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA), Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which had predicted that Niger State is among many states that falls within highly probable flood risk areas in the year 2020 rainy season.

NEMA had warned that there would be more rains in the coming days and some local government areas who are predominantly farmers/fishermen should be notified to vacate from flood-prone areas with the rising water level to avert danger of loss of lives and properties.

The state government in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mary Noel Berje, drew the attention of the communities to the impending flood warning by the relevant agencies and the need for them to heed the warning for their own safety.

Since the rising tide of the rivers across the state could be uncontrollable and dangerous with the coming rains, riverine communities should immediately relocate to higher plains to avoid the catastrophic floods which claimed many lives and properties destroyed last year.

“We are particularly worried about the perennial flooding and the fatality that comes with it. The state government is doing everything possible to mitigate the hardship suffered by our people as a result of the annual natural disaster”.

While advising Nigerlites in urban areas against building along flood plains, the statement also warned against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drainages, culverts and water channels as a proactive measure to curb flood menace when such drainages overflows its banks.

Many houses submerged by flood last year, properties and lives also lost, this according to the statement is why urban dwellers are being admonished to ensure they keep all culverts and drainages around their homes free from obstructions by dirty to avoid flooding.

Meanwhile, Niger State government said it has embarked on public enlightenment campaigns on early flood warning to ensure that riverine communities are adequately briefed to prepare for and prevent damaging effects of this years’ flood as predicted by relevant agencies.

The statement however directed the Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA) and the Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to be adequately prepared for any eventualities that may arise from the annual natural course on riverline communities.

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