Director-General of the National Emergency Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi, has warned that ‘frontline’ states in the North should expect more flooding before the end of the year.
The frontline states, according to the NEMA boss, include Kaduna, Kebbi, Adamawa, Niger, Kogi and Jigawa states as well as other states mentioned in the Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s prediction.
The NEMA boss said so far 63 Local Government Areas in the North had been ravaged by flood.
“NIMET seasonal prediction indicated that about 10 local government areas were affected by this flood in Kaduna State, about 16 local governments in Jigawa, about 17 local governments in Kebbi, almost 20 local governments in Adamawa State and other states that were mentioned in NIMET prediction.”
He said that with the release of water from the Lagdo dam in Cameroon, flooding was imminent in the northern parts of the country.
He noted that the only solution to avert future occurrence was for Nigerians to avoid building houses in flood-prone areas.
“You recall in 2012, we had a similar incident, even more devastating than what we are witnessing now, that was when Cameroon released water from Lagdo Dam.
“It is a routine maintenance that they carry out when their dams are about to over flow, so they release water annually.
Just days ago, a massive flood reportedly displaced no fewer than 30,000 people, submerged about 2,000 house and killed one person in Kaduna State.
Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Ezekiel Baba-Karik, described the disaster as the worst in the history of the state.
About 10 local government areas of the state were said to have been affected by the heavy down pour which started on Sunday and spread to the early hours of Monday.
Areas affected by the flood within Kaduna metropolis include Barnawa, Tudun-wada, Kigo Road, Karatudu, Kabala Constain, Anguwan Rimi, Kudendan, Rafin Guza, Badiko, Hayin Mallam Mani and Gonin Gora, among several others. Most of places affected are settlements around the river bank.
Several roads were also submerged by the flood, making it difficult for emergency workers to access the affected areas. A part of the road connecting to the residence of former Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo at Ungwan-Rimi GRA was submerged.
Although the residence of the former vice president was not affected, his neighbours whose houses are close to the Kaduna river bank were not spared as their homes were submerged.
A light bridge along Aliyu Makama road, Barnawa which links the area to the city centre was completely submerged by the flood, forcing motorists and tricycle riders to search for alternative route.
Spokesman of SEMA, Mallam Abubakar Zakari Adamu, said the disaster was monumental, saying however that he was not in a position to give a detailed assessment of the destruction.
He said that rescue agencies, including the Red Cross, and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were working round the clock to come to the victims.
He, however, confirmed the death of one person.
“You know so many settlements, mostly around the river bank were affected and we have to share ourselves into groups in order to assist those affected.
“At the moment, I am not in a position to tell you all the details concerning the destructions until we compare notes with the various rescue groups,” Adamu said.
He lamented that despite repeated public enlightenment campaign urging people to avoid building houses by river banks, such warnings were ignored.
The state Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, had already visited some of the affected areas.
“We keep saying that early warning must be matched with early actions, but that has never been done. So, we should expect more flood. More states, especially the frontline states, will be flooded. The lasting solution is that people must desist from building their houses in flood-prone areas.
“They should not build near natural waterways and green zones.”