FLOOD ALARM: NEMA urges evacuation of people from river banks in Koji state.

The water level in River Niger is almost at nine centimeter which leads to flooding both in Lokoja and eight other local government area in Kogi state says the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The Head of NEMA Operation in Abuja and Kogi, Mr Bitrus Samuel raised the alarm. He said the flood might come anytime from now, urging those living on river banks to evacuate.

The flood was due to intensity and duration of high rainfalls currently being witnessed in different part of the country. Samuel also said that the agency and other stakeholders were yet to determine the exact time and day the flood would hit Lokoja which he described as a repository of floods from other river.

Samuel explained that flood usually come in the night when people are fast asleep. According to him, the ground has become saturated and absorption level has reduced.

He said aside River Niger and Benue, other rivers in the country had started overflowing their banks due to distortion in pattern of rainfall and charged Nigerians to prepare for more flood this year.

Samuel later met with other stakeholder to discuss their level of preparedness for the impending flood, evacuation plans and rescue strategies being put in place by them and the state government.

The NEMA advised the state government and other stakeholders to immediately identify high grounds, establish camps and pre-position drugs, food and non-food items in readiness for the flood. Samuel also called on them to discourage violation of town planning laws, check dumping of refuse in rivers and poor drainage system and control location of settlements along river banks to migrate effects of flooding.

The state Deputy Governor, Mr Simon Achuba said at the meeting held that the government has responded adequately to disasters, adding that the impending flood would not be an exception.

The Executive Secretary of the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Alhassan Ayegba explained that the organization was fully at alert and that it was expanding its frontiers of response to emergency.

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