By Ada Anioji
As many as 100million West Africans, a third of the population, will be affected by a rain-borne flood in the next few days, The Difference has learnt.
Nigeria’s National Orientation Agency has accordingly alerted especially those living along the banks of the River Niger, of imminent flooding in “mid-2016”.
A statement issued by Fidel Agu, the Deputy Director of Press of NOA, in Abuja on Tuesday, stressed the need for those affected to relocate immediately.
According to the statement, the alert has become necessary following intelligence reports from the Office of the National Security Adviser and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The statement said the Niger River Basin traversing the Republics of Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria would be flooded in mid-2016 due to forecasted heavy downpour.
The statement warned that as many as 100 million people would be affected along the flood path of the more than two million square kilometers Niger River Basin.
The statement therefore advised all the affected ‘to take serious pre-cautions, including relocation from the banks of the Niger River and minimising activities on the river to avoid being victims of the flood.”
The statement also urged traditional rulers and other leaders of flood prone communities along the Niger River flood to take necessary measures.
It said: “Traditional rulers and leaders should mobilise their communities for urgent action to avoid loss of lives and property by the coming flood.”
The NOA, however, assured Nigerians that all relevant government organs and other stakeholders had been alerted and measures were being put in place to ensure their safety.
The agency urged Nigerians to cooperate with government in its efforts toward mitigating the effects of the imminent flood.