The Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) has warned residents and farmers living along river banks, urging them to refrain from engaging in water-based activities and relocate to safer areas inland to prevent potential flooding.
During a meeting with the agency’s 25 local government desk officers in Minna, Garba Salihu, the Acting Director General of NSEMA, conveyed the directives on behalf of Deputy Governor Yakubu Garba, who also serves as the agency’s Chairman. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the desk officers about the imminent flood situation.
“Our desk officers in all 25 local governments are responsible for disseminating this information to flood-prone communities, ensuring they receive the warning about the impending disaster promptly,” stated Mr. Salihu.
He further emphasized the importance of establishing communication channels with traditional leaders to raise awareness among communities located along the transregional rivers Niger and Kaduna, urging them to avoid flood-prone areas during the upcoming wet season.
Mr. Salihu highlighted that the flood forecasts from the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) and the 2023 seasonal climate prediction by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET) had identified Niger State as having a higher risk of flooding. Consequently, communities should take precautionary measures to minimize the impact of potential floods.
He also instructed flood-prone communities to promptly relocate vulnerable groups such as women, children, and older people to designated resettlement sites and safer locations.
Additionally, Mr. Salihu reported that the agency had already received reports of localized flash floods in certain areas, destroying farmlands. He directed the desk officers to collaborate with local boat owners to facilitate coordinated rescue operations, evacuations, and the provision of relief aid during emergencies.
Furthermore, he urged urban residents to refrain from disposing of waste in drains and culverts and to avoid constructing structures near waterways to ensure unobstructed water flow.
Mr. Salihu disclosed that the agency plans to convene a meeting with stakeholders involved in flood disaster response to develop an emergency preparedness plan, which will serve as a comprehensive guide for managing and responding to flood-related emergencies.