The governments of Edo and Benue states have kicked off moves for the evacuation of vulnerable people ahead of floods anticipated in the wake of the opening of floodgates at Camerouns’s Lagdo Dam.
The Federal Government had warned that there will be severe flooding in parts of Nigeria within seven days, following the opening of floodgates at Lagdo Dam in neighbouring Cameroon.
Government therefore advised the administrators of Nigerian states in the path of the expected water torrents to evacuate citizens to higher ground and other secure places.
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials, no fewer than eleven Nigerian states including Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River are likely to feel the negative impacts of the opening of the dam.
Dr. Betta Edu, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, sounded the flood alert at a meeting of the Presidential Committee on coordination and implementation in Abuja, Monday.
Edu said, the call became necessary following an alert by the Cameroonian authorities to release the water from the country’s Lagdo Dam.
She also pledged the readiness of the Ministry to work with Subnational and Local Governments towards providing shelters for the affected Citizens.
Also, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Iziaq Salako said the ministry has already activated the necessary flood warning alerts being released on hourly basis.
Salako said the reports would focus on the water levels of the River Benue and River Niger as well as vulnerability level of the affected areas.”
He noted that recommendations on long term measures and solutions will be presented to Mr. President as part of ongoing efforts towards finding lasting solution to the menace of flooding.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Government has called on residents in lowland and riverine areas in the State to be vigilant and relocate to higher planes as a result of likely flooding with the release of modulated amounts of water into River Niger from Lagdo Dam by Cameroonian authorities.
The communities include Agenebode in Etsako East Local Government Area (LGA), Anegbete in Etsako Central LGA and lllushi in Esan South East LGA, as well as other riverine areas in Ikpoba Okha LGA, Ovia North-East LGA and Ovia South-West LGA.
In a statement, Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare said: “Edo State Government has been informed that the authorities of LAGDO DAM of the Republic of Cameroon would be releasing modulated amounts of water into River Benue due to flooding caused by incessant torrential downpour.”
Similarly, the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, BSEMA, has urged residents of the state, particularly those residing in flood-prone areas to vacate.
BSEMA Acting Executive Secretary, Sir James Anodoakaa Iorpuu who gave the warning in a statement issued on Monday, said the development followed the release of water from the LAGDO-DAM of Cameroon over River Benue.
He said the agency has embarked on a sensitization and awareness campaign on the need for people in at least 22 Local Government Areas around the banks of River Benue to be on alert.
He identified some flood-prone areas within Makurdi, the state capital to include, Achusa, Idye, Wurukum market, Genabe, Industrial layout, Demekpe, Wadata market, Rice Mill, Inongun, Agbohough, Judges Quarters, and Gyado Villa.