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NEMA Issues Warning of Potential Dam-Related Flooding in Select States

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As neighbouring Cameroon prepares to open up its Lagdo Dam, the states of Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, and Bayelsa may see significant flooding.

The River Benue, which encircles the nine states, may see an increase in water levels as a result of the opening of Lagdo Dam.

The Cameroonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the dam’s opening.

The announcement prompted the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) to receive a notice from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Director General of NEMA was informed of Cameroon’s decision in a letter written by the Director of African Affairs, Ambassador Umar Salisu, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It stated: “I have the honour to inform you that the Ministry has received 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 the coming days due to the heavy rainfall around the Dam catchment area in Northern Cameroon.

Salisu said: “According to the Note, it is pertinent to note that when the release of water becomes necessary, the authorities of the Lagdo Dam will be releasing only a modulated variable small amount of water at a time in order to mitigate and avoid damages that the released water may cause along the River Benue basin in both Cameroon and in 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 sensitize the populace living in such areas for vigilance and all necessary precautions.”

Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has allayed the fears of Nigerians about the situation.

Meanwhile, the agency’s spokesperson, Manzo Ezekiel, said: “However, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) wishes to allay fears of Nigerians over the planned release of the excess water from Lagdo dam, which is located on River Benue in the Republic of Cameroon.

“The Agency is working with critical stakeholders at the  Federal, State and Local  Governments to ensure that the release will not cause much negative impacts on the low-lying communities along the states that would be affected.”

“The states on the downstream of River Benue are Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States.”

“The Agency envisaged this release of excess water from the Lagdo dam, taken note of the likely impacts, and considered in the preparations for mitigation and response to the 2023 flood alert.”

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