As the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon commence the release of excess water from their reservoir, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned of massive flooding from River Niger and Benue to the 13 states of the country.
Issuing the warning in collaboration with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), NEMA listed the affected states as Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa states.
The agency also said the country should expect Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams to overflow between now and the end of October.
The Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed revealed these in Abuja on Monday during an emergency meeting aimed at reviewing the emergency and planning for further action by all responders.
“Based on our communication with the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the Lagdo dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon have commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by 13th September 2022.
“We are aware that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue and its tributaries thereby inundating communities that have already been impacted by heavy precipitation.
“The released water complicates the situation further downstream as Nigeria’s inland reservoirs including Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro are also expected to overflow between now and October ending according to NIHSA.
“According to NIHSA, Kainji and Jebba dams have already started spilling excess water from their reservoirs.
“This will have serious consequences on frontline States and communities along the courses of rivers Niger and Benue.
“These States include, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Kogi states.
“Niger Delta states including Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa are expected to record heavy floods due predicted above normal rains coupled with the combined waters of rivers Niger and Benue as they empty into the region,” he said.
Ahmed restated that more than 300 people have been killed in flood disasters across the country this year and over 100,000 persons have been displaced.
He also advised State governments to evacuate those at risk and stockpile food and non-food items ahead of the floods.
He said: “I want to advise all the governments of the frontline states to move away communities at risk of inundation, identify safe higher grounds for evacuation of persons and preposition adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items, potable water, hygiene, safety and security to enable them a fair level of comfort during periods of possible displacement.
“These actions become necessary as we collectively work towards a lasting solution to the annual threats of floods.”