The Federal Government has advised 13 states to evacuate people to mitigate the flooding impact of heavy rains and released water from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Dr Betta Edu, gave the advice while issuing flood warning alert during a meeting of Presidential Committee on coordination and implementation in Abuja.
Edu said, the call became necessary following an alert by the Cameroonian authorities that water has been released from the Lagdo Dam.
”Lagdo Dam floodgate has been opened by the Cameroonian authorities and that all the frontline States may experience flooding within the next seven days” she said.
Edo, Delta, Rivers, Anambra, Enugu, Bayelsa, Kogi, Kebbi Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa and Niger states were listed by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) as states that might be affected by the opening of the dam and floods. from River Niger that would be caused by heavy rains.
The minister who spoke at the instance of the Minister of Water Resources and that of Environment expressed the need for effective implementation of policies and rescue missions aimed at mitigating against the impacts of the flooding.
Edu while acknowledging the State Government’s zeal in tackling emergencies, urged them to ensure immediate evacuation of Nigerians living in flood prone areas to safer destinations.
”State Governments have done quite a number of preparedness, we also appeal to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on the need to step up actions by ensuring immediate evacuation of Nigerians from various communities to safer destinations.
She also pledged the readiness of the Ministry to work with Subnational and Local Governments towards providing shelters for the affected Citizens as some of the people living in most of the communities are afraid of losing their ancestral homes, despite the warning” .
She therefore assured Nigerians on the resolve of President Tinubu-led administration to put necessary measures in place to safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerians.
Minister of Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako said the ministry has already activated the necessary flood warning alerts on hourly basis.
”Especially, on the water level of River Benue and River Niger as well as vulnerability level of the affected areas” he said.
Salako also said, the ministry has designed a veritable platform that will provide regular and real time information to Environmental Corespondents on the floor warning alerts without waiting for the Ministry.
Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, tasked Nigerians on the need to take necessary steps toward clearing drainages while government at all levels play their roles.
Utsev assured Nigerians that his ministry will on the long run ensure construction of dams as well as dredging of Rivers across the country with the view to end the menace of annual flooding, which has led to loss of several lives and property.
He also noted that the Ministry is already meeting with relevant stakeholders at various levels in the bid to control the waters.
The committee also assured Nigerians of its resolve to provide necessary medical support to Nigerians who may be affected by the flooding, including scourge of malaria and other water borne diseases.