Imminent Disaster Looms: Urgent Evacuation Pleas Issued as Cameroon Dam Prepares to Unleash Devastating Floods - The Top Society

Imminent Disaster Looms: Urgent Evacuation Pleas Issued as Cameroon Dam Prepares to Unleash Devastating Floods

FG and States Raise Alarm


Thirteen States have been placed under a red alert due to the looming threat of flooding.


The states located along the River Benue include Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers, and Bayelsa.


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) issued this alert in response to a notification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which revealed Cameroon’s intentions to release water from the Lagdo Dam.


The agency cautioned that the Kainji, Shiroro, and Jebba dams might experience overflow before the conclusion of October.


In order to avert potential fatalities and mitigate the risks linked to flooding, States susceptible to its impact have urged inhabitants residing in flood-prone regions to evacuate these areas.


Reports on Sunday, indicated that Cameroon conveyed its intention to the Federal Government regarding the imminent release of water from the Lagdo Dam.


Umar Salisu, the Director of African Affairs at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, revealed in a communication dated August 21, 2023, that the ministry had received correspondence from the Cameroonian High Commission regarding the forthcoming dam release.



The letter, addressed to the National Emergency Management Agency, read in part, “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 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 water becomes necessary, the authorities of Lagdo Dams will be releasing only modulated variable small amount of water at a time in order to mitigate and avoid damages that the release may cause along River Benue Basin in both Cameroon and Nigeria.

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


Ezikiel Manzo, the Head of Media and Public Relations at NEMA, communicated that the agency had reached out to the state governors, further mentioning that these states had received guidance on measures to take in order to alleviate the potential repercussions of impending floods.


“We have introduced this into all our awareness programmes and in addition to that, NEMA has written to all the governors to alert them. We have also mentioned the things that they need to do in order to mitigate the impact of the flood.


“So what this means is that with this information concerning the excess water being released from the dam, it means that all the state governments along the River Benue axis, the time has come for them to match action with the information that has been given to them in anticipation of this flood.


“And some of the things they need to do is for them to immediately monitor the people and communities along the flood pathway and begin to move them away from danger.


“They (Lagdo Dam) are just beginning the release of the water, we don’t know, but if the rain increases and the release of the water continues, it means the people will need to move quickly out of the floodplain.”


Manzo, however, stated that ‘if after this initial release we do not have much rain again, then it means they are going to stop. I’m saying this because we don’t want to send people panicking that the release means that they should run away completely from the river bank.


“But what we are saying is that the time has come for the people to be conscious of the risk that is lying beside them in terms of the likelihood that the river will overflow its bank.”


Situated 50 kilometers to the south of Garoua, the Lagdo Dam, positioned along the Benue River, frequently discharges substantial water volumes during periods of overflow, leading to downstream flooding across several Nigerian states.


In light of this situation, certain states projected to be impacted by the dam’s release announced their intentions on Sunday to dismantle structures situated along watercourses. Concurrently, other states designated specific schools to serve as accommodations for internally displaced individuals.


Authorities from both the National Emergency Management Agency and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency disclosed that 11 states lay along the course of the River Benue and are susceptible to the repercussions of the Lagdo Dam’s opening.


While emphasizing that there was no need for immediate concern, they identified the states as Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Cross River.

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