FG Advises States to Prepare Against Potential Floods Amid Rising River Benue Flow


The Federal Government of Nigeria has issued a warning to state governments, urging them to take proactive measures in anticipation of possible floods due to an increase in the volume of flow along the River Benue. Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof Joseph Utsev, and Minister of State for Water Resources and Sanitation, Bello Muhammad Goronyo, conveyed this advice during a press briefing in Abuja.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency has reported a rise in the volume of flow along the River Benue system, measuring a flow level of 8.97m, compared to 8.80m on the same date in the previous year. This development has prompted concerns about potential flooding, especially as heavy rainfall is already being observed across the country.

Minister Utsev emphasized the importance of all levels of government, including federal, state, and local, being well-prepared to mitigate the impact of potential flooding during the peak rainy season. He stressed the need for states to sensitize communities living along river banks to relocate to higher ground, maintain clear drainages, construct new ones if needed, and remove illegal structures within flood-prone areas.

The general public, particularly road users, were cautioned against walking or driving through pools of water or floodwaters. This advisory is aimed at ensuring safety and preventing potential hazards associated with flood-related emergencies.

The minister highlighted that despite the heightened flow volume along the River Benue system, the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers in Lokoja, Kogi State, maintained a flow level within normal parameters. The monitoring station downstream of the confluence recorded a flow level of 7.8m, compared to 8.24m on the same date the previous year.

Recognizing Nigeria's downstream position within the Niger River Basin, Minister Utsev stressed the importance of collaborative information exchange with Cameroon's National Hydrological Services. He emphasized that there is currently no immediate threat of flooding but urged all levels of government to implement preventive measures to avoid flood emergencies.


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