Flood: more than 25, 000 displaced in Benue as many communities remain adamant
As the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) continued to reach out to areas that are threatened by flood, some of the communities at risk have remained adamant even as over 25, 000 persons in 14 communities were displaced in Benue State following the overflow of river Benue.
Also, thousands of residents in Kaduna metropolis have been displaced by flood from Kaduna river and some communities in Kano State submerged after the collapse of Warawa dam. Similarly, more areas along the plains of River Benue and River Niger have remained under the threat of flood from the unprecedented rise of water in the upstream dams.In Benue State, NEMA along with the state government and other stakeholders have established three camps for the displaced persons while officials have mobilized to the other areas that are also affected by the disaster including Bauchi State.
Also the agency has contacted the relevant States Governors and stakeholders as well as launched a series of awareness campaigns and advocacy to sensitize the vulnerable communities on measures to be taken. However, some of the communities have remained adamant not to move to any place of safety and resigned their fate to the act of God.
Meanwhile, authorities at the Jebba hydroelectric dam has began discrete release of the excess water from the dam to safeguard the facility. The Chief executive officer of the hydroelectric power plant Engineer Lamu Audu attributed the high water level to excessive rainfall this year.
A high power assessment team comprising officers of NEMA and the stakeholders including the line ministries visited the dam and some of the threatened communities in Kwara and Niger States.
NEMA’s Director of Planning Research and Forecasting Dr Charles Agbo who led the team expressed satisfaction with the manner which the excess water is being managed.During the visit to Jebba and Old Jebba which are the two immediate communities located at the downstream of the dam, Dr Agbo advised them to relocate to the higher grounds for safety. The team were received by the the Oba of Jebba Alhaji Abdulkadir Adebara, and Alhaji Muhammed T. Muhammed of Old Jebba respectively.
Floods usually occur in low lying areas when there are abnormal rainfall hours and intensity filling river basins with too much water, within a short time. Water runs off steeper ground very rapidly, causing natural drainage systems to overflow with rushing flood waters and a deadly cargo of rocks, mud, smashed trees and other debris. Mudslides are also a danger created by flood conditions. Some floods develop over a period of days, but flash floods can result in raging waters in just a few minutes. Flooding along rivers is a natural and inevitable part of life.
This makes it a natural event. At times man also causes flood by blocking the drainages and when water can not find it path, it overflows the land and thereby it is called flood. At times floods are caused by collapse of dams. In Nigeria, Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural hazards. Even the northern parts of the country that have less rainfall are also prone to annual flood. At times even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds, or low-lying ground that may appear harmless in dry weather can flood. Wherever you live, be aware of potential flooding hazards. Flood alone is a hazard but when it affects man and his property or activities we call it disaster. Flood is a disaster because it results in: Loss of lives, Loss of agricultural products, Loss of soil fertility for agriculture, Demolition of buildings and rendering many homeless, Destroying livestock and other valuable assets. Cholera and other health related problems.
Before a Flood
To prepare for a flood, you should:
- Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
- Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
- Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
- Construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the building.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
During a Flood
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
Dam failure or levee breeches can occur with little warning. Intense storms may produce a flood in a few hours or even minutes for upstream locations. Flash floods occur within six hours of the beginning of heavy rainfall, and dam failure may occur within hours of the first signs of breaching.
Other Disasters and Management
See information related to other types of disaster management and precautions