River water from six of the eight countries that make up the Niger Basin has arrived Nigeria, increasing the risk of flooding in 10 states, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency alerted Nigerians on Saturday.
The water , according to the Director General of the agency, Clement Nze, left Guinea, Niger Republic, Guinea, Mali, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire on the last day of last month and entered Nigeria yesterday.
The consequence, Nze said in an interview yesterday is that, the water will end up in River Niger and put 10 states in danger of flooding.
He said the water may increase the chances of flooding in Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Nasarawa , Kogi, Edo, Anambra, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States.
NIHSA is a Federal Government agency charged with the responsibility of monitoring all the major rivers in the country including the trans-boundary Rivers Niger and Benue.
Nze explained that water measurement in Niamey, capital of Niger Republic, showed that the water level has entered the red alert zone, peaking at 6.26 meters, on August 31.
He said: “Lagdo dam in Cameroon has not released water yet. But the flood that was sighted in Niamey, Niger Republic as at around 31st of August has arrived Nigeria from Kebbi State. That is the first point that it enters Nigeria.
“There is a measurement we have in Niamey, as at 31st, it entered the red alert zone, 6.26 meters. The water will affect Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Edo, Anambra, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa before it empties into the Atlantic.”
The NIHSA DG said he had informed the operators of the Kainji and Jebba dams in Niger state about the increasing water level.
He said the operators have started emptying the dams with a view to blocking the excess water from the six countries.
Nze said: “They called me from Niamey to alert the operators of our dams in Nigeria. I have called the operators of Kainji and Jebba dams about what they should be expecting. The water may take about 15-20 days after getting to Kebbi State.
“They have opened their gates, releasing water so that when this water arrives from Niamey, they will block it. Their dam reservoir level is about 3.1 meter high, that’s a threatening level.”