Floods: NEMA Allays Fears As Cameroon Releases Water From Lagdo Dam

By Miriam Humbe

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has allayed Nigeria’s fears over the planned release of the excess water from Lagdo dam, which is located on the River Benue in the Republic of Cameroon.

NEMA’s Head of Public Relations, Manzo Ezekiel told Humsimedia on Sunday that the Agency is working with critical stakeholders at the Federal, States and Local Governments to ensure that the release will not cause much negative impacts on the low-lying communities along the states that would be affected.

It was gathered that the states on the downstream of River Benue are Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States.

Mr. Ezekiel said the Agency has envisaged this release of excess water from the Lagdo dam, taken note of the likely impacts and considered in the preparations for mitigation and response to the 2023 flood alert.

Meanwhile, Humsimedia sighted a letter to the Agency from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, dated August 21, 2023 on the above subject matter.

Director, African Affairs in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Umar Salisu signed the letter received by NEMA on August 25, 2023.

Salisu wrote: “I have the honour to inform that the Ministry is in receipt of a Note Verbale from the High Commission of the Republic of Cameroon informing that the Cameroonian officials have resolved to open the flood gates of the Lagdo Dam on the Benue River in days ahead due to the heavy rainfall around the Dam catchment area in Northern Cameroon.

“According to the Note, it is pertinent to note that when the release of the water becomes necessary, the authorities of the Lagdo Dam will be releasing only modulated variable small amount of water at a time in order to mitigate and avoid damages that the released water may cause along the River Benue basin in both in both Cameroon and in Nigeria.

“In view of the above, it would be appreciated if the esteemed Agency takes all necessary proactive steps and actions that will mitigate the damage as well as sensitize the populace living in such areas for vigilance and all necessary precautions.”

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NiMet), in its 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP), predicted rainfall amount over the country to be average to above average in most parts of the country.

To mitigate the impact of floods, NiMet
called for stakeholders’ collaboration to prevent disasters caused by flooding across the country.

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