Last year, the country witnessed devastating floods that led to the deaths of more than 600 people.
Nigeria may experience devastating floods this year as Cameroon is set to open the gates of the Lagdo dam.
Lagdo dam is located around Garou in northern Cameroon.
The dam is along the River Benue.
In a statement signed by Umar Salisu, the director of African Affairs in the Foreign Affairs ministry, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was asked to prepare proactive measures to mitigate the impact of the flooding.
The agency was also asked to sensitise Nigerians on the impending aftermath of opening the gates of the dam.
“I have the honour to inform that the Ministry is in receipt of 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 days ahead due to the heavy rainfall around the Dam catchment area in Northern Cameroon.
“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 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 sensitise the populace living in such areas for vigilance and all necessary precautions,” it added.
The NEMA said the national headquarters of the agency is working with its offices in Niger, Benue and Kogi states to mitigate the impact of the expected floods.
“I’ve met with state governors during their meeting where I explained everything to them. After that I met with them (governors) during another meeting and I warned then about the floods. I advised that they should take measures especially by creating emergency offices at the local level, clear blocked drainages and others,” Mustapha Habeeb, the NEMA director general, said in a BBC Hausa interview monitored by PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Habeeb said Cameroon would be releasing the water in small quantities to avoid devastating floods.
When contacted by PREMIUM TIMES for comments, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment, Haruna Hadejia, referred this reporter to the Director of Erosion and Flood at the ministry, Dilichukwu Etigbue.
Mr Etigbue didn’t respond to an SMS sent to him while his number was unreachable.
Unprecedented floods were recorded in the country in 2022.
About 612 people were killed by the floods while 1.4 million people were displaced.
The floods led to the destruction of over 200,000 houses and partial destruction of 110,000 hectares of farmlands.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs at the time, Sadiya Umar – Faruk, said the country suffered N4.2 trillion economic loss due to the flooding.
The floods were worsened by the opening of the Lagdo dam in September last year though other reasons were also given.
Last year, PREMIUM TIMES spoke to hundreds of farmers, residents, fishermen, business owners and others on the impact of the floods.
Floods are the most frequent type of natural disaster and occur when an overflow of water submerges land that is usually dry. Floods are also caused by heavy rainfall, rapid snowmelt or a storm surge from a tropical cyclone or tsunami in coastal areas.
Floods can cause widespread devastation, resulting in loss of life and damages to personal property and critical public health infrastructure. Between 1998-2017, floods affected more than 2 billion people worldwide.
People who live in floodplains or non-resistant buildings, or lack warning systems and awareness of flooding hazard, are most vulnerable to floods.
Edited: Nicholas Ibekwe, Tosin Omoniyi
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)