The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Ahmed, has issued a warning to Nigerians that Lagdo Dam in Cameroun may commence full discharge of excess water should the heavy rainfall persist.
The DG, made this known during an Emergency Coordination Forum of Disaster Management Stakeholders meeting held recently in Abuja.
“This release may result in all frontline states experiencing flooding in subsequent days and weeks. It is of great importance to also note that the dam might commence full discharge of excess water in the event that the region experiences heavy amounts of rainfall,” he said.
This particular meeting has been necessitated by the notification received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the modulated release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroun on the Benue River. Cameroun has commenced the release of water from the dam at the rate of 200 cubic metres per second, which is about 18 million cubic metres of water per day.
The NEMABoss pointed out that there is no standing budget for the impact of the flooding from Lagdo Dam; hence, all states are to be on alert for necessary intervention.
“We don’t have any standing budget for this yet. The gates, as we are all aware, have been opened and closed also. So, the extent of the damage will not immediately be known; it is after the flood season that we can assess the damage to know what the budget will be,” he said.
According to him, setting up Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in states is solely the responsibility of state governors, while NEMA would assist where necessary.
Director-General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Clement Nze, said it was important that a high level of preparedness is deployed by the federal and state governments.
Representative of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Daria Volkova, assured Nigerians and all stakeholders present, that the UN would continue to assist the country in cushioning the negative impact of floods.