Local disaster management officials in Kano State, Nigeria, say that recent flooding has left thousands of homes destroyed or damaged.
According to the Kano State Relief and Emergency Agency (SREA), at least 5,300 houses were destroyed by floods in six districts, including Bebeji, Dawakin Kudu, Kiru Shanono, Bagwai and Garun Mallam. Full damage assessments are still being carried out.
Speaking to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Alhaji Aliyu Bashir, the Executive Secretary of SREA, said, “In Dawakin Kudu alone, more than 2,300 houses were affected, while more than 600 houses in each of the remaining five areas were destroyed by the flood.”
NAN also reports that 3 people died in flooding in Bebeji, Kano, last week.
In June this year, a storm lasting several hours brought heavy rain and flooding to Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, resulting in the Iyi-Udele River overflowing, forcing around 5,000 people to evacuate their homes.
Flood Warnings for 11 States
Meanwhile, in a statement of 08 August, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), in collaboration with the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) warned of potential flooding in 11 states across the country between August and October this year.
NiMet said that heavy rainfall throughout June and July means that soil moisture has either reached saturation, or near saturation levels in some parts of the country, including: Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa, Yobe and Zamfara.
NiMet said that the already saturated ground means that “floods should be expected in these areas because the soil is no longer able to absorb more rainwater in the coming weeks which coincide with the peak rainy season.”
NiMet advised governments, communities and individuals in these vulnerable parts of the country to take proactive actions such as clearing water channels and drainages and avoiding activities that block the free flow of flood waters.
Niger River Flooding
Last week, Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) advised communities along the River Niger to evacuate to safer ground as levels of the river were expected to rise.
In a statement of 06 August, NEMA said:
“Following intense rainfall and rises in water level, the National Emergency Management Agency has advised communities along the river Niger to evacuate immediately to safer ground over the likelihood of floods that may occur at any moment from now.
Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi who gave the advice said the agency has received alerts of the flood from information given by the authorities in the Republic of Niger that the present water level in the river has reached a point that may result in the flood that could be compared with the unfortunate experience of 2012.
He said “Niger Basin Authority (NBA) notified Nigeria that rainy season, which started in the Middle Niger (Burkina Faso and Niger Republic) in June, 2016, has led to a gradual rise of the level of River Niger in Niamey, Niger Republic. This high level of water in Niger Republic is already spreading to Benin Republic, and invariably, to Nigeria”.
He further said that the level of water in all the hydrological monitoring stations across the country, as at Friday, 05 August, 2016, have already exceeded the corresponding values at that time, which is an alarming situation that requires the prompt and coordinated action of all governments and stakeholders.
According to the information, “if the heavy rainfall continues in intensity and duration within these regions of the River Niger, it is imminent that flood situation similar to that of the year 2012 may occur.”
The Director General of NEMA then called on all stakeholders to take necessary actions in line with their various mandates. The states and local government are to ensure observance with the threat in order to avert imminent loss of lives and properties that might certainly arise in the event of flood.
In the statement, the Director General identified the states along the river Niger belts as being the most vulnerable, as well as those along its major tributaries that includes Benue river belts, the confluence states and downstream to the Atlantic Coast.
The Agency’s Zonal and Operation offices, he said, have been instructed to continue with advocacy visit to the state governments and also urged the state to utilize the flood vulnerability maps given to them earlier by NEMA to identify safer ground for temporary shelters in time of evacuation as well as reviewing all their contingency plans.
Kano - August 7 to August 8, 2016
Bebeji, Dawakin Kudu, Kiru Shanono, Bagwai and Garun Mallam
Kano - August 4 to August 15, 2016
Local media (link below), quoting National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials, reported on 13 August that at least 18 people had died in floods in Kano state.