Flood Kogi

7 Ways to Stay Safe During Flood

Some Nigerian states are currently experiencing a flooding season with high level of damages wrecked on lives and properties. In Kogi State, no fewer than nine local government areas, including Lokoja the state capital have been submerged by the floods.

Many have been rendered homeless, while most are taking refuge at Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA) had earlier warned many parts of the country are likely to experience flooding this year due to heavy downpour caused by climate change.

The agency revealed that the flooding was also caused by the opening of Lagdo dam by its operators in Cameroon.

Unfortunately, three lives were lost so far in Kogi State, and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Here are few safety tips curated by Alao Abiodun on the events of heavy rainfall and flooding to help you stay safe.

1. When everywhere is flooded, do not walk through moving water. As little as 6 inches of moving water can make you fall.

2. It’s very important that you do not swim or drive through flood waters. Turn around and stay safe first!

3. It’s necessary that you stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.

4. Most drivers don’t obey this but it’s very risky – you must not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.

5. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

6. If your home is flooded, turn off your electricity when you return home. You should also stay away from downed power lines.

7. Stop dumping dirt/refuse into the drainage system, this can cause blockage thus causing undeserved dangers leading to overflooding.

Also, the government has enjoined all parents and guardians to ensure adequate safety of their children, wards and young adults by insisting, and restraining them indoors during rainfalls and away from after rain floodings.


Governor Bello Wants President Buhari to Declare National Disaster in Kogi 

The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of National Disaster in Kogi, as flood has submerged nine local government.

Bello who made the appeal on Saturday during a state broadcast said the declaration will help to unlock the nation’s latent capabilities to respond more aggressively with more men, money and materials to this harrowing situation.

According to him, “the flooding has affected the nine local government areas which lie along the Rivers Niger and Benue, namely, Lokoja, Kogi-Koto, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Bassa, Idah, Ibaji and Omala. Ibaji is almost 100% underwater while the rest range from 30% up. Other inland LGAs also have some degree of flooding from smaller rivers and tributaries.

“We, therefore, have a serious and humanitarian tragedy on our hands, but I wish to assure every person, family and community which has been affected that they are not alone and that help is coming. Even before the floods came we had activated our early response systems to make sure that succour reaches those affected in a timely manner.

“Even though we are still mapping the red zones as they develop, the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KOGISEMA) and other first responders are already hard at work across the state. At-risk communities were informed and encouraged to evacuate long before the flooding began and Internally Displaced Persons Camps were set up and put at their disposal.

“We are also mobilizing help from traditional partners such as the National Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Services, Disaster Management and Social Development as well as socially responsible corporate entities. Of course, the Kogi State Government will welcome public-spirited individuals, groups and bodies who may wish to show love to their fellow humans in distress through donations of funds and essentials.

“What this means is that in the short term we are providing affected persons and communities with shelter at our various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps, as well as security, food, medicines, clothing and cash grants for necessities, among others. In the long term, we will need to gear efforts towards more sustainable solutions where possible.

He mentioned that the 2022 floods have been confirmed as Nigeria’s worst flood disaster in a decade, and they are becoming progressively worse than those of 2012 and 2018.

He added that in as much as his administration has implemented Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) and efforts are ongoing to evacuate and provide relief for victims, they must now admit that more is needed from the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Historically, flooding in Kogi State is more or less an annual event. Our people have gotten used to the ritual of devastation followed by inadequate palliatives if any. As a leader, it is clear to me that I must make an attempt to break this vicious cycle, if not for all, then for as many victims as I can. This is why I am now considering some proposals that promise permanent solutions that we can deploy.

“Do not misunderstand me. There is a set of common sense and civil engineering solutions to the problem of flooding which could bring permanent solutions and I assure you that as an administration we have tried some of them, with varying degrees of success.

“For instance, in partnership with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), we have constructed about four kilometres of embankments along the River Niger. We also did extensive gully erosion control projects in Ankpa, Ogugu, Ozuri, Lokoja, Dekina and other parts of the State. Despite all of that, as everyone can see, we continue to harvest this endless cycle of flood disasters every other year.

“The most common sense and humane option left now is to clear human habitations and businesses from the banks of the Rivers Niger and Benue where possible. Soon, we will embark on clearing the lowlands along the entire flood plains in the flood-endemic LGAs. This will allow the rivers’ unimpeded flow during their annual flooding.

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