…….As Cameroon releases water from Lagdo Dam
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has ordered its grassroots mobilization officers to begin sensitization of communities in the frontline states to relocate immediately as the operators of Lagdo Dam in Cameroon have commenced the discharge of excess water from its reservoir with likely flooding of 14 states in Nigeria.
According to a press release on Thursday, 22 September 2022 signed by the Assistant NOA Director of Press, Paul Odenyi, he said that the Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari said the directive followed the alert already issued by the Nigeria Hydrological Agency (NIHSA) with the prediction of consequential damage to many communities on the coast of River Niger and Benue. He recalled the 2012 flooding which cut off some roads in some parts of the North Central and North East regions of the country and displaced many communities.
According to him, the report from NIHSA indicates that “The Lagdo Dam operators in the Republic of Cameroun have commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by September 13, 2022. We are aware that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue through its tributaries, thereby inundating communities that have been already impacted by heavy precipitation. The released water complicates the situation further downstream as Nigeria inland reservoirs, including Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro are expected to overflow between now and October ending”.
NIHSA has also reported that Kainji and Jebba Dams have already started spilling excess water from their reservoirs. “This will have serious consequences on frontline states and communities along the courses of Rivers Niger and Benue. These states include Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Enugu, Kebbi, and Kogi. Others include the Niger Delta states of Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross-River, Rivers, and the Bayelsa States,” he said.
The Director General urged the State Directors to create awareness of the need for State Governments to “identify safe high grounds for evacuation of communities at risk, preposition adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items, potable water and hygiene and provide safety and security to enable them to have a fair level of comfort during periods of possible displacement”.
He also asked the Community Orientation Officers to identify other partners that will help to support communities at risk with the necessary information that will assist them to move to safety.