Flood: Niger govt asks riverine communities to relocate

Niger State Government has sent a passionate appeal to all riverine communities, particularly the flood-prone areas in the state and those situated along the tributaries of river Niger, to be cautious and pay attention to the rising water levels in their areas.

It made the appeal in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mary Noel Berje, drawing the attention of the communities to the impending flood warning by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency, (NIHSA) and the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET), which predicted that many Local Government Areas in Niger State among other states, fall within the highly probable flood risk areas for 2020.

The release stated further that NEMA had warned that there would be more rains in the coming days and people should be informed to evacuate from the flood-prone areas due to high water level to prevent loss of lives and property.

The state government thereby advised that since the rising tide of the rivers could be uncontrollable and dangerous, adding that the riverine communities should immediately relocate to higher plains in order to avoid the catastrophic floods of 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,” the governor was quoted as saying.

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The statement also advised people in the urban areas against building on flood plains and indiscriminately dumping refuse in drainages, culverts and other waterways as a proactive measure to curb the flood menace.

Accordingly, the statement said, “people living in urban areas of the state are therefore admonished to clean culverts and drainages around their vicinities in to avoid urban flooding.”

Meanwhile, the government has embarked on early flood warning public information and enlightenment campaigns to ensure that the riverine communities were adequately informed to prepare for and prevent eventual consequences of the flood.

The statement also directed the state Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA) and the Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to be adequately prepared for the eventuality.

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