The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Saturday disclosed that due to the opening of Lagdo Dam in Cameroon 28 persons have been killed, 48,168 individuals displaced and 159,157 persons affected.
The Lagdo dam which was built between August 1977 and July 1982 is located in the Northern Province of Cameroon, on the Benue River, in the Niger basin. The lake covers an area of 586 km.
The Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, made this known at the National Emergency Coordination Forum meeting in Abuja.
He said an upsurge of water along the flood plains of River Benue has greatly affected states like, Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Delta, Edo, Anambra, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Nasarawa and Bayelsa.
He said: “The update from NEMA is that the Agency has been alerted on sudden increased inundation of riparian communities and farmlands along the banks of River Niger in Adamawa Taraba and Benue states in the past 48 hours.
“The sudden situation is attributed to the rapid release of waters from Lagdo Dam in the Republic of Cameroon and has resulted in the displacement of several inhabitants of the affected communities. Furthermore, croplands and valuable infrastructure are at risk of getting washed away by the flood waters.
“Situation reports from Adamawa State confirm the upsurge of flood waters along the flood plains of River Benue. The situation is expected to be replicated in downstream states of Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta and Bayelsa as the River Benue joins River Niger and flows to the Atlantic Ocean through the Niger Delta.
“As a result of the unfolding situation, I want to use this opportunity to alert authorities of State and Local Governments along rivers Niger and Benue basin areas to immediately activate their emergency response plans to avert potential damage and losses that will arise due to inundation of communities by flood waters.
“Furthermore, we are expecting to receive updates from the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) NIMET, NEMA Operations Office in Yola Adamawa state and from State Emergency Agencies of the frontline states to keep on updating you on the situation as it unfolds.
“I also wish to update you on the NEMA situation room dashboard, which indicates that this year’s flood scenario has affected 159,157 persons, resulted in the loss of 28 persons and the displacement of 48,168 individuals in 13 States across Nigeria.
“I want to assure that NEMA will continue working with our distinguished partners and the press to update Nigerians on the emerging situation.”
Persecondnews recalls that in 2022 due to the reactive nature of the Buhari’s administration, the release of water from the Lagdo Dam and climate change Nigeria experienced the worst flooding since 2012.
Floods had displaced over 1.4 million people, killed over 603 people, and injured more than 2,400 persons. About 82,035 houses had been damaged, and 332,327 hectares of land affected.