Federal Ministry of Water Resources & Sanitation Emphasizes Preparedness against Flooding in Nigeria

Coat of arms

The Honourable Minister of Water Resources & Sanitation, Engr. Prof. Joseph Terlumun Utsev, alongside the Honourable Minister of State for Water Resources & Sanitation, Bello Muhammad Goronyo, Esq., addressed concerns about preparedness of Nigerians against potential flooding during the ongoing rainy season in Nigeria, at a Joint Press Briefing held on August 25th, 2023, in Abuja.

Highlighting the observations from the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Engr. Prof. Utsev emphasized that an increase in the volume of flow along the River Benue system has been noted. The flow level *at NIHSA’s gauging station in Makurdi* is currently at 8.97 meters as of August 25th, 2023, compared to 8.80 meters on the same date in 2022.

In contrast, the flow level of the River Niger system, specifically at Niamey, Niger Republic, remains stable at a normal level of 4.30 meters. Similarly, inland dams including Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro report consistent flow regimes.

With regards to the critical hydrological station downstream the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers in Lokoja, Kogi State, Engr. Prof. Utsev assured that the *measured* parameters are currently within normal limits. The downstream monitoring station, however, registered a flow level of 7.80 meters on August 25th, 2023, compared to 8.24 meters on the same date in 2022.

Recognizing Nigeria’s downstream position within the Niger River Basin, Engr. Prof. Utsev acknowledged the increased rainfall and flooding risk during the months of July to October. He stressed that NIHSA maintains an active information-sharing relationship with Cameroon’s National Hydrological Services on water releases.

The Minister emphasized the necessity for all levels of government to bolster preparedness measures and minimize flooding during the peak rainy season. Key recommendations include relocating individuals residing along river banks to higher ground, intensifying drainage maintenance, and constructing new drainage systems.

Engr. Prof. Utsev further emphasized the importance of removing unauthorized structures within floodplains and cautioned the public, particularly road users, against venturing into floodwaters. Importantly, he reassured that, at present, there is no immediate threat to lives and properties, especially in states contiguous to the Rivers Niger and Benue.

Funmi Imuetinyan
Head, Press and Public Relations
Ministry of Water Resources & Sanitation