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Flooding: Declaring ‘State of Emergency’ Not Yet Necessary – Minister

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, on Thursday said declaring a state of emergency over the disastrous flooding across the country was not yet necessary.

Speaking during his appearance on Channels Television’Politics Today, the Minister said, emergency agencies are not yet overwhelmed.

At least 600 persons have died and millions displaced due to flooding related disasters this year with many parts of the country still submerged under water.

“It is certainly an emergency situation,” Mr Adamu said, when quizzed on why the government had yet to declare a state of emergency. “But it depends on what you call a ‘state of emergency’.

“We have not reached a situation, in my view, where the relevant emergency management authorities are not being able to deal with this situation. I’m not aware that has happened.

“I’m sure if the situation was beyond our capacity, certainly a state of emergency, whatever that may encompass, would have been declared in the country.”

The Minister said the main cause of the flooding was unprecedented rainfall.

He said rainfall in the North-East had been four times above the normal average.

Adamu noted that the government has an early warning system communicated through the Annual Flood Outlook but added that the report could not have predicted this year’s intensity.

“It’s been a terrible one,” he said. “Our hearts go to the victims of this flood. Basically the entire country has been affected.”

Lagdo dam

The Lagdo dam in Cameroon had been cited by some as a major cause of the flooding but the Minister disagreed.

He said the release of water from the dam “plays a very little role” in the current disaster.

“Our trans-boundary waters are Rivers Niger and Benue, and Lagdo dam discharges into the River Benue, Niger and Lake Chad,” the Minister said.

“And these trans-boundary waters contribute only 20 percent to the fresh water resources in this country. The remaining 80 percent is generated within the country from rains or drains either to the North-East or coming into the Benue and Niger basins.”

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