The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has alerted Nigerians to expect floods as Cameroonian authorities release water from the Lagdo Dam.
The agency noted that nine states could be affected by the recent release of water from the dam, which is expected to last till the end of this month.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, during an emergency meeting where he gave an update on the release of water from Lagdo Dam and the consequential flooding of communities along the banks of River Niger and River Benue.
The states that may be affected are: Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, and Bayelsa states.
Ahmed said the recent release of water by the dam has led to the displacement of 48,100 persons in 13 states of the federation and could lead to the destruction of crops and other infrastructure.
He added that since August 14 when the dam was opened, 28 deaths have been recorded and 159,157 persons have been affected.
The NEMA DG called on all heads of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to cushion the effects of the disaster.
He said: “NEMA 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.”
The agency cautioned 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 the flooding of communities.
“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,” he said.
NEMA promised to give further updates as it expects 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.