Lagdo Dam: NEMA issues fresh alert, names states to be affected

Nigerians have been alerted to prepare for an impending flood as Cameroonian authorities release water from the Lagdo Dam.

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said that nine states: Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, and Bayelsa could be affected.

The Director General of the agency, Mustapha Ahmed made this known during an emergency meeting where he gave an update on the release of water from the Lagdo Dam.

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.”

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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.

On the number of those that have been affected so far by flood this year, he said: “The NEMA situation room dashboard 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.”

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