Flood: There’s an alarming increase in water level —Agency

· 11 LGAs under flood threat in Jigawa—NiMET

Mr Moses Beckley, the Director-General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), has warned that increase in water levels in major rivers could cause flooding of the 2012 magnitude in some parts of the country.

Beckley gave the warning in Abuja, on Wednesday, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“At our monitoring station in Wuro-Boki, Adamawa State, the first monitoring station as River Benue enters Nigeria, the water level has risen to 5.36m as at August 8, 2016 (as against 4.88m recorded on August 8, 2012).

“Though presently there is no water release from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon, the heavy rainfall being witnessed within the catchment of River Benue has caused the water level to be on the increase, “ he said.

The Director-General stated that at the confluence in Lokoja, the water level as of August 8 was 7.74m, which had exceeded the 7.72m recorded value on August 8, 2012.

He said in line with the prediction made by the agency in 2016, there was the possibility of flooding in many parts of the country.

Beckley stated further that the localised urban flooding incidents being experienced in parts of the country would continue due to heavy rainfall and blockage of the drainage system.

He added that poor urban planning, as well as coastal flooding, resulting from sea rise and storm flow would also contribute to flooding in the flood-prone areas.

The official, therefore, urged government at all levels, especially state and local governments, to endeavour to clear blocked drains, culverts and other waterways.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Yusuf Sani Babura, has said 11 local government areas in the state were likely to experience flood disaster this year.

Speaking to newsmen in Dutse, the state capital, the executive secretary said this was based on the focus by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) in the alert earlier issued.

According to him, the flood alert indicated that most of the riverine communities along Rivers Hadejia and Jama’are would be the likely victims of the disaster, adding that his agency had since embarked on enlightenment campaign for all the vulnerable communities, in order to be aware of the looming danger.