The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has expressed concerns that a repeat of the 2012 flood disaster in Kogi State when River Niger overflowed its banks and displaced so many residents, may be worse than the one expected this year, 2018, if precautive measures were not taken.
The 2012 flood covered major high ways causing many travellers to be stranded in Lokoja, the state
capital for several days.
Vincent Owan , NEMA ’ s Director of Planning , Research and Forecasting , equally expressed fear
on Monday when they visited the state to assess the extent of the impending flood disaster ,
as he advised residents on the flood plains to immediately relocate to the upland areas or to the
Internally Displaced Persons ( IDP ) camp at the flood estate built by former Governor Idris Wada .
“ My first impression is that the flood situation is quite devastating for the fact that all the indices that manifested in the 2012 flood disaster are here , except for the release of water from the Lagdo Dam. Most of victims of flood today have been relocated to higher grounds , particularly the IDP hostels at the flood housing estate. ”
He also said that the situation needed NEMA management ’ s early intervention , adding that they are going to collaborate extensively with the Kogi State Government to ensure that displaced persons are well catered for.
“ I have communicated with the Director General of NEMA and very shortly you will feel the presence of the agency in the state” .
In his response, Commissioner for Environment , SanusiYahaya , said the water level was not receding , as it keeps rising .
“ We are appealing to people in the flood prone areas to move to higher grounds immediately because we don ’ t know when the water from the Lagdo Dam will be released. When it is released the situation may be worse than the 2012 experience , he warned.
Yahaya alerted residents on the danger of possible leakages of electric current , which may lead to electrocution , as current in water kills instantly .
Also speaking , Executive Secretary of the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency , Alhasan Ayegba , said the water level has risen to 10 . 30 meters , noting that the levels has exceeded the normal levels .
He equally disclosed that more than 4,5000 persons have already been displaced and are being camped at the various IDP camps in the State .
Ayegba emphasized that the situation in Ibaji Local Council was worse, as it is a low area , so the residents have been advised to move to the IDP camp in Idah.