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IMPENDING FLOODING DISASTER: Nigerian Federal Government Issues Flood Alerts, State Governments Call for Evacuation

Residents residing near flood plains and erosion-prone spots have been urgently instructed by state governments to vacate these high-risk zones before potential disaster strikes.The advisory comes in light of the forthcoming heavy rainfall forecasted for July in several states. The Federal Government has also issued a warning to citizens living in close proximity to natural waterways, flood plains, and erosion spots.In an official statement released on Wednesday, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) cautioned that 14 states and 31 communities are likely to experience heavy rainfall between July 4 and July 8, potentially leading to flooding.Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, the Territorial Coordinator of NEMA’s Lagos Territorial Office, stressed the importance of stakeholders in the affected states taking preventive measures to avert loss of life and property.The communities at risk include Langtang and Shendam in Plateau State; Sumaila and Tudun Wada in Kano State; Shagari, Goronyo, and Silame in Sokoto State; Okwe in Delta State; Kachia in Kaduna State; Upenekang in Akwa Ibom State; Mubi, Demsa, Song, Mayo-Belwa, Jimeta, and Yola in Adamawa State; and Katsina, Jibia, Kaita, and Bindawa in Katsina State.Other vulnerable areas include Wara, Yelwa, and Gwandu in Kebbi State; Shinkafi and Gummi in Zamfara State; Briyel in Borno State; Gwaram in Jigawa State; Jebba in Kwara State; and Mashegu and Kontagora in Niger State.Expressing gratitude, Mr. Farinloye extended thanks to the Flood Early Warning System Central Hub of the Federal Ministry of Environment in Abuja for sharing the crucial information.Tragedy Strikes: Toddler Drowns in Katsina FloodTragically, the devastating impact of flooding has already claimed a life, as a one-year-old boy drowned in a downpour in Katsina on Tuesday night.The heavy rain began a few minutes before 4 pm and continued until shortly after 10 pm.Hajiya Binta Dangani, the Executive Secretary for the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), confirmed the incident on Wednesday. She explained that the toddler’s mother was carrying him on her shoulder when he slipped from her grasp and was swept away by the floodwaters.”The mother of the boy was carrying him on her shoulder while she had another baby strapped to her back. Unfortunately, the boy slipped from the mother’s shoulder and fell into the flood while efforts to rescue him failed. The house where the incident happened is close to a stream,” revealed the SEMA boss.In response to the heartbreaking incident, Dangani visited the affected family’s home on Wednesday to offer condolences and raise awareness among residents about the importance of caution during the ongoing rainy season.”I also counseled residents, especially those who have houses close to rivers or streams, to always stay away from the waterways whenever it rains. Our efforts to sensitize residents about the havoc of flooding will continue,” she asserted.Katsina Endures Torrential Rain and Subsequent FloodingThe downpour in Katsina on Tuesday wreaked havoc on the state capital, particularly in the Kofar Kaoran Quarters, where the newly constructed underpass, along with surrounding offices and houses, were submerged in floodwaters.As a result, human and vehicular movements were severely disrupted throughout the night.In response to the arrival of the rainy season, Katsina, Sokoto, and Kwara States are appealing to residents to evacuate flood-prone areas and clear blocked drainages.Hajiya Binta Dangani, the SEMA boss in Katsina, disclosed that the state plans to evacuate those still living along flood plains, emphasizing that the state will not establish any Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.”We are planning to evacuate those living along flood plains; we will not create any IDP camps. We shall continue with our sensitization efforts to further enlighten residents on flooding and why people should not reside on flood plains or build near rivers,” Dangani stated.The Sokoto State Emergency Management Agency also reported that they have created awareness in communities that might be affected by potential flooding. Mustapha Abubakar, a staff member of the agency, assured that necessary measures have been taken to tackle any incidents if they arise.In Kwara State, the government has been proactive in preventing flooding by clearing and desilting waterways. The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, explained that the government has been engaging in various programs since March to raise awareness and guide citizens.Regarding Delta State, authorities have advised residents in flood-prone areas to relocate to safer grounds and encouraged farmers to conduct early harvests to mitigate potential losses. The Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ben Agamah, expressed deep concern about the expected massive flooding and assured farmers of the government’s commitment to their welfare.In response to the predictions, traditional rulers and community members are also urging the government to take action. They emphasize the importance of dredging rivers and providing assistance and protection for vulnerable communities.Meanwhile, in Delta State, the Umeh Road and bridge collapsed due to two days of heavy rain. Governor Oborevwori has instructed the state Ministry of Works to promptly carry out repair works on the road.In Kebbi State, the government has declared its readiness to address any form of flooding this year. The Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Ahmed Idris, stated that Governor Nasir Idris… (The rest of the paragraph is missing in the original text, leaving it incomplete.)As the threat of flooding looms, residents in vulnerable areas are expressing their concerns about the lack of preventive measures and relocation plans implemented by the government. Some residents have been repeatedly displaced by floods, with no compensation provided.The situation remains uncertain, and residents are left hoping that the predictions may prove inaccurate, as they rely on divine intervention to protect them from the potential devastation of floods.


Ademola Adeyemi

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