Nigerien President, Mahamadou Issoufou Chairs Disaster Committee

President Mahamadou Issoufou is chaired a meeting involving a special committee on fraud following floods that ravaged the West African country, causing massive damages.

Heavy rainfall last month had caused massive flooding that killed dozens and left thousands of people homeless in the Niger River Basin. President Issoufou visited the area on Monday and after examining the destruction chaired a committee set up with the aim of mitigating the damage.

In a tweet on Tuesday, President Issoufou said, “Shortly after visiting the flooded neighbourhoods of the district 5 of Niamey, I chaired a meeting of the flood monitoring committee in order to combine and enhance the efforts of the current government as well as those of the technical and financial partners.”

According to the recent data, more than 50 people died due to the flooding, and more than 220,000 were driven out of their homes across the affected areas.

The capital registered some 5,000 collapsed houses and 31,000 people affected by the flooding.

The calamity also vastly damaged the rice fields.

Niger, among the world’s driest countries, suffers from intense rain seasons that last two-three months.

Meanwhile, Niger’s West Africa neighbours, Nigeria, has told 10 states to expect massive flooding in September.

The country’s Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) warned that Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Bayelsa states they will likely experience severe flooding in September due to Nigeria’s location at the lowest portion of the Niger Basin.

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NIHSA Director General, Mr. Clement Nze, said in a statement last week, that information received by the agency from the regional Niger Basin Authority headquartered in Niamey showed that the flood magnitude sighted in the Niger capital is expected to arrive Nigeria through Kebbi State by September 6, 2020.

According to the statement, ”The River Niger Basin which covers nine countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria, has Nigeria at the lowest portion of the Basin. This means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding incident.

”As at today, the Middle Niger of the Niger Basin made up of Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and part of Mali, have been flooded. The flood levels at the hydrological stations monitored in Niamey (Niger Republic) and Malanville (Benin Republic) have gotten to the Red Alert Zone.

”Operators of Kainji and Jebba Dams have long been alerted to take appropriate measures in the operation of the reservoirs. Accordingly, Kainji Dam is now spilling water at the rate of p86.4 million cubic metres/day. This means that communities downstream Kainji and Jebba Dams could be flooded. The Shiroro Dam on Kaduna River is still impounding, though there is the possibility of spilling water in the weeks
ahead.

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”The month of July and early part of August 2020, witnessed unprecedented flooding incidents across the country. Some lives and property were lost as a result. This was later followed by a period of Dry Spell, otherwise known as August Break which lasted up to the third week of August, 2020. The beginning of the last week of August 2020 witnessed return of rains in most parts of the country. Expectedly, this will be accompanied by increasing saturation and wetness of the soil.

”Under this condition of saturated soil, it is expected that any rainfall of high intensity and long duration might translate into flooding in most parts of the country. So far, Urban/Flash Flood has wrecked havocs in many states of the Federation, including the FCT. As at date, no less than 70 LGAs in 20 states are counting their losses due to flood incidents.

”Information received by NIHSA from the relevant authority in Cameroon stated that the Lagdo Dam is still impounding water. It could be recalled that on the 10th of October, 2019, the operators of Lagdo Dam opened the Dam without first notifying ahead of time as contained in the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries. The situation is being closely monitored by the Agency.

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”The country still has many days of rainfall in the course of the year. More floods are therefore still expected in the months of August, September and October this year. In the event there is release of excess water from the dams in other countries upstream rivers Niger and Benue this year, this will have more negative impacts on Nigeria which is located downstream other countries in the Niger Basin.”


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