More Floods to hit North-Central, South-East and Niger Delta, NiMet, NIHSA warns

Oru Leonard

The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), have issued warnings to Nigerians to prepare for more floods, especially in the North-Central and South-East of Nigeria

The directives were issued by the NiMet Director-General, Professor Mansur Matazu and NIHSA Director General, Engr. Clement Nze yesterday during the Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS) workshop hosted by NiMet in collaboration with NIHSA with the support of the United Kingdom Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

The NiMet boss noted that rainfall induced floods may have reached its peak, but more spillage from dams may leads to riverine flooding as the rain is now concentrating on the North Central and the Southern states. He explained further that there will be a combination of short-duration, high-intensity rain, with riverine flooding.

“We are going to see more of these floods in the north-central states as we have seen in Kogi and also southeastern and southwestern states as we are beginning to see in Anambra and some of the parts of Southwest.

“You remember, we issued the forecast in February and we followed up with the monthly updates that we’re going to have above-normal rainfall in most parts of the country”, Prof Matazu said.

He recalled that on September 13th, the Lagdo dam was released, as well as Kainji and Jebba dams and revealed that what is being witnessed is riverine flooding, adding also that there would be more floods going by he information coming from NIHSA.

Prof. Matazu who stated that it is expected that water-associated risks are going to intensify in the coming years as full weight of climate change begins to bear on the earth, emphasized that one of the major factors to effectively manage water resources and address challenges such as flood, is the availability of hydrometeorological information and products targeted to serve the needs of the different sectors.

Speaking, the Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Engr. Clement Nze noted that the impact of the flood for the year 2022 has surpassed what was experienced in 2012, adding that the floods would be most felt in the Niger Delta regions.

According to him, “The River Niger and Benue have been swelling, particularly River Benue; especially with the opening of the dam in Cameroon. They have been spilling water and from my last communication with them, it will continue up to the 16th of October.

“Meaning, over one month non-stop release of water and that portends more danger to us in Nigeria even though we have said the water from there does not contribute significantly to what we are witnessing but it is part of what is happening.

“From what we have seen in the field, the 2022 flood surpassed that of 2012. So many lives have been lost and we know the gridlock it has caused in Lokoja. So, the flooding will continue as long as the release of water is still on and the Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams are still spilling water.

“So, we should be prepared to have more. If it is receding in the north or middle belt of Nigeria, it will still be building up in the Niger Delta like Edo, Delta, Anambra, Bayelsa and Rivers State”, he cautioned.

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