NEMA warns of impending flood as Cameroon drains dam

The National Emergency Management Agency has warned Nigerian states along River Benue of likely impending flood as Cameroonian authorities announce plan to release excess water from Lagdo Dam.

The safety agency, in a statement on Thursday, said the warning became imperative as a similar exercise in 2012 led to massive flooding and loss of lives and property in Nigerian communities.

It quoted NEMA’s Director General, Muhammad Sidi, as confirming that the Cameroonian authorities in Garuoa would embark on the draining exercise between August and November this year.

Sidi urged governors of the concerned states to put safety measures in place and be prepared for possible evacuation of their citizens ahead of the planned release of excess water from Lagdo Dam.

“Alll those living around the dam and along River Benue in Garoua up to Nigeria side should be alert and be ready for evacuation in case of possible flooding,” Sidi said.

The DG, who disclosed that the agency would not relent on its sensitisation efforts, however, urged authorities of other emergency safety bodies to also be on the alert.

Sidi added, “It would be recalled that the release of excess water from the (Lagdo) dam in 2012 contributed to massive flooding of communities along the river.

“Consequently, in 2013, the two countries (Nigeria and Cameroon) reached an agreement that Cameroon was to give early warning to enable Nigeria put in place proactive measures to prevent destruction of lives and property.”