Following the planned gradual release of excess water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon, the Edo State Government has warned residents living in coastal areas to relocate to higher grounds in order to avoid possible threat to lives and property due to flooding.
The Federal Government had, on August 10, warned that the opening of the dam could result in flooding due to sea level rise and tidal surges in some parts of the country.
Although Edo was not listed among the states that could face the challenge, the state government, in a statement by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Public Utilities, Austin Akhuamhenkhun, explained that the warning became necessary due to the heavy rainfalls currently recorded in the year.
It also said the government had put in place an action plan to ensure a flood-free 2015, through elaborate and extensive de-siltation exercise of major towns, in addition to the ongoing Benin City Storm Water master plan.
The state government called on the Benin Electricity Distribution Company to immediately take another look at all its distribution facilities within the state to ensure that they were firm and strong enough to withstand any stormy weather, which could cause electrocution-related but avoidable deaths.
It emphasised the need for residents to take other preventive measures, like avoiding indiscriminate dumping of waste that block drains.
The statement read, “Edo State Government has advised residents living in low lands, river banks and other flood-prone areas in the state to take proactive action and relocate to safer parts of the state to avoid being affected by flood, which may arise following the opening of a dam in the Republic of Cameroon.
“People living in low lands, river banks and other flood-prone areas such as Ilushi, Agenebode, Udaba and others are advised to re-locate to higher grounds.
“Because of the expected rainfall pattern in 2015, residents are advised to take a second look at the binding of their roofs to ensure that they are firm.”