Except the Federal Government acts fast, massive flooding reminiscent of the 2012 disaster, may occur in some parts of the country as neighbouring Cameroun plans to open its Lagdo Dam.
When Cameroun opened the dam three years ago, most states in Nigeria along River Benue were flooded, leading to loss of lives and property as well as displacement of thousands.
The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, yesterday disclosed the move by Cameroun when it alerted state governments and communities along River Benue of possible flooding.
According to NEMA, information from Camerounian authorities showed that they are set to release excess water from Lagdo Dam.
A statement signed by NEMA Senior Information Officer, Mr. Sani Datti, on behalf of the Director-General, Muhammad Sani Sidi, said that the Camerounian authorities in Garuoa have indicated that between now and November 2015, there would be routine release of water from the Lagdo Dam due to excessive amount of water in the dam.
He explained that the authorities have also warned those living around the dam and along River Benue in Garoua, up to the Nigeria side to be alert and ready for evacuation in case of possible flooding.
Sani called on the frontline state governors, State Emergency Management Agencies, SEMAs, first responders and relevant authorities to alert the communities at risk and prepare safe locations for possible evacuation and adequate preparedness.
Sani said the agency had dispatched the alert to the effected state governors and was following up with appropriate advocacy.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that the release of excess water from the dam in 2012 contributed to massive flooding of communities along the river.
Consequently, in 2013, the two countries reached an agreement that Cameroun was to give early warning to enable Nigeria put in place proactive measures to prevent destruction of lives and property.
The 300-metre (985-feet) Lagdo Dam, 50 kilometres south of the Camerounian city of Garoua, was completed in 1982 and supplies electricity to the country’s north.