As the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon commence the release of excess water from their reservoir, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned of massive flooding from River Niger and Benue to the 13 states of the country.
Issuing the warning in collaboration with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), NEMA listed the affected states as Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa states.
The Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, who disclosed this to newsmen during an emergency technical meeting on flooding situation in the country, advised the governors of the frontline states to relocate residents in the communities at risk.
Ahmed restated that more than 300 people have been killed in flood disasters across the country this year and over 100,000 persons have been displaced.
The NEMA DG said: “Based on our communication with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroun commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by 13th September, 2022.
“We are aware that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue and its tributaries thereby inundating communities that have already been impacted by heavy precipitation.
“The released water complicates the situation further downstream as Nigeria’s inland reservoirs including Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro are also expected to overflow between now and October ending according to NIHSA. According to NIHSA, 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.
This states include, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Kogi states. Niger Delta states including Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa are expected to record heavy floods.
“The situation requires urgent attention of all stakeholders to match this early warning with early action.
“Consequently, I want to advise all the governments of the frontline states to move away communities at risk of inundation, identify safe higher grounds for evacuation of persons and adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items, portable water, hygiene, safety and security to enable them have a fair level of comfort during periods of possible displacement.”
“This actions become necessary as we collectively work towards a lasting solution to the annual threats of floods.
“NEMA is monitoring the situation and will consider the activation Emergency Operation Centres (EOCS) to coordinate the flood disaster response in all the states at risk,” Ahmed also said.