The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, has declared flooding a national disaster in four states including Kogi, Niger, Delta and Anambra, placing eight others on the watch list.
NEMA made the declaration on Monday, days after the President ordered the agency to declare the situation a national disaster.
Following the order, Maihaja had earlier inaugurated five Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) to facilitate prompt search and rescue operations as well as humanitarian support in the 12 states worst affected by flooding.
The Emergency Response Centres will be responsible for planning, organising, directing and supervising deployment of resources with the affected state governments and local authorities and communities.
The primary objective is to localize the responses and expedite intervention to save lives and facilitate quick recovery.
At the command centre in Abuja, the NEMA DG and other chief executives will be responsible for the formulation of policy and operational guidelines for the conduct of emergency operations in all the worst affected states.
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had earlier warned that the steady rise in water levels and weather forecast in the coming weeks have put Nigeria at risk of witnessing a recurrence of the catastrophic flooding similar to what it witnessed in 2012.
In 2012, catastrophic flooding had affected up to 30 states in the country and resulted in the deaths of over 300 people and displaced more than two million people, according to data from NEMA. NIHSA, therefore, believes the country is at risk of a recurrence of the disaster if proper steps are not taken.
With the increase in rainfall and the daily rise in the water levels on both the rivers Niger and Benue, many states have fallen victim to the flooding which has killed many and rendered several others homeless.In Kogi State, 10 local governments have been submerged by flood in the last 72 hours, according to the state governor, Yahaya Bello.