•Makinde heads Ibadan urban flood project
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has advised five states to be on red alert against flooding.
The director-general of the agency, Mr Clement Onyeaso, gave the advice while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday.
Onyeaso said the affected states to be on red alert are Edo, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa,
He said river flooding that occurred in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Kogi could still find its way through these states before emptying into the ocean.
He advised the states to identify the communities bordering River Niger and make adequate plans for timely evacuation of people to safe and higher grounds in the event of flooding.
He said the current flooding in the country is as a result of release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.
“After several weeks of denials, the Cameroonian authorities responsible for the operation confirmed to NIHSA that they released water from the dam.
“In any case, it should be noted that this year is an exceptional year in terms of rainfall in the sub-region because it has continued to rain up to the usual periods,” he said.
He said the current development of non-disclosure of information on operation of Lagdo Dam by the Cameroonians authorities is contrary to the spirit and letter of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries in 2015.
“The MoU was signed after the 2012 devastating flooding incidents in Nigeria, which were caused by the release of excess water from this Cameroonian dam.
“Among other requirements on the MoU is that Cameroonian authorities should give adequate and prior notice to Nigeria before releasing excess water downstream of the dam.
“The non-existence of a dam within the Nigerian portion of the Benue sub-basin makes Nigeria vulnerable in the event of sudden or unannounced released of water from the Lagdo Dam.”
He said the Cameroonian authorities went ahead on October 10 to release water from Lagdo Dam without notifying the Nigerian government.
Onyeaso said as of today, the flood level on River Benue measured at Markurdi is at 11.28 metres as against a much higher level of 9.01 metres that occurred on November 4, 2012.
He explained that the corresponding flood levels downstream of the confluence of the two rivers in Lokoja are 10.97 metres as of today and 8.04 metres on November 4, 2012.
“Year 2012 is taken as the reference year considering the magnitude of flood that occurred that year.
“As you can seen from the above figures, the flood level in each hydrological station as of today is far above the corresponding value in 2012,” he noted.
Onyeaso said both Kainji and Jebba dams on River Niger still had excess water downstream, adding that this had invariably contributed to the rising level of River Niger in Lokoja.