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NEMA predicts flooding in 9 LGAs of Benue



The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has predicted flooding in nine Local Government Areas in Benue.

Mrs Zubaida Umar, the agency’s Director-General, who disclosed this on Tuesday in Makurdi during the Downscaling of Flood Early Warning Strategies for Early Actions in the State, said about nine LGAs may be affected by the 2024 flooding.

She said that three LGAs of Bururku, Makurdi and Guma would be the mostly hit.

Represented by Air Commodore Kennedy Mataluwo, the NEMA boss, said the flood may have impact on 31 States in the country with 148 LGAs been predicted to be within the high risk areas.

She stated that 35 States, including FCT with 249 LGAs are considered to fall within the moderate flood risk areas, while the remaining 377 LGAs are forecasted as the low flood risk areas.

“NEMA’s records of flood incidents in Benue shows that the state has been severely impacted by floods, but for the 2024 rainy season, some Local government areas in the state are still predicted to be affected by flooding.

“These LGAs, which are under high and moderate flood risk areas include Buruku, Makurdi, Guma, Agatu, Tarka, Gwer West, Logo, Kwande and Katsina-Ala.

“They are already listed in the earlier NEMA communication to the Government of Benue.

“This underscores this flag off, in the State today. Accordingly, I call for support in this initiative of downscaling flood early warning and risk mitigation messages to the grassroots,” she said.

The D-G explained that these flood risk areas were presented with their degree of vulnerability to serve as a tool for government at all levels to develop risk reduction measures to avert disaster during the rainy season.

She urged Nigerians to take actions that would drastically reduce the adverse impacts of floods on the entire landscape and the population, especially for most vulnerable persons living in communities identified to be at risk of flooding.

“We must work together to safeguard communities at risk, protect critical infrastructure and support uninterrupted socio-economic activities in the State.

“It is my hope that today’s event will go a long way in reducing the impact of the annually recurring floods and to safeguard the private, communal and livelihoods of the people of the state,” she said.

Gov. Hyacient Alia, commended NEMA for always being there for Benue people in times of need.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Joseph Alakali, said the State would constitute “Technical Committee” on flood for effective action.

He said that flood history has shown that about 17 LGAs maybe affected by this year’s flood.

Earlier, the Acting Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr James Iorpuu, said that 17 LGAs were prone to flooding in the State.

Iorpuu said that Makurdi and Buruku have already witnessed heavy flash flood in the recent weeks.

He said that SEMA has already procured 45 live jackets to be donated to Buruku LG for rescue mission following the growing increase of the water level in River Katsina-Ala.

He said that more jackets were needed to be donated to Agatu LGA for the same usage.

Speaking to newsmen, Caretaker Chairman, Konshisha LGA, Mr Philip Achua, said the LGA would further downscaled the information to all the communities.

NAN reports that participants during the sensitisation programme included the 23 LGA Chairmen in the State.

Emmanuel Antswen

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