Anxiety As Cameroun Opens Floodgate of Its Lagos Dam into Benue River
There is anxiety in 17 states on the bank of rivers Niger and Benue as Cameroun Republic opened the floodgate of its Lagdo dam.
Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Ministry, Dr. Beta Edu, said Lagdo Dam started discharging its excess water into Benue River as from yesterday.
Edu, addressing the state house correspondents after the maiden meeting of the Federal Executive Council, said effects of water from Lagdo dams would be felt within next seven days in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Environment Minister, Dr. Ishaq Salako said his ministry had activated necessary flood warning alert on hourly basis.
Salako said information of the flood warning would be provided to journalists.
Also yesterday, the presidential committee on flood headed by Vice President Kashim Shettima met yesterday in Abuja.
The committee asked state government to embark on the immediate evacuation of people from structures in flood prone areas.
Reacting to the letter yesterday, NEMA said the notice is not new, noting that it had since informed state governors of impeding floods, including that from the Lagdo Dam.
NEMA’s spokesperson, Manzo Ezekiel, said it is time for the affected state governors to take action and secure lives and properties, in collaboration with NEMA.
He said: “There was a particular letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed to the DG NEMA and NEMA is the recipient of that publication. The communication is not coming to us by surprise and has not taken us by surprise.
“In our preparation for flood mitigation and response this year, we envisaged that a situation like this will arise.
In all our programs and activities for flood management this year, we had in mind that there could be a release of water and.
‘’Therefore, in line with this, NEMA has written to all the state governments, including the governors of the frontline states that are likely to be impacted by the release of this water from Lagdo Dam.
“So what has happened now is just a way of confirming our program and the time has come for us to tell the government of the states that are likely to be impacted to match all the awareness information we have given them with actions, so that people that are living along the river areas would begin to have a plan to move away.
‘’Ths is because the release of the water has a consequence of overflowing the river bank.
Therefore, NEMA is prepared and we have begun preparations long before now.”