BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI, ABUJA
As the Cameroonian authorities commenced water release from the Lagdo Dam, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has tasked stakeholders on immediate evacuation of Nigerians from various communities to safer destinations to mitigate possible flood disaster.
NEMA Director-General, Mustapha Habib made the call at a national emergency coordination forum meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
Habib stressed the importance of a nationwide sensitisation, especially in states and communities which may likely be affected by the impending flood.
He also emphasised the need to escalate early warning messages to states through TV and radio appearances; jingles, issuance of press releases, as well as clearing of drainages and readiness to embark on rescue mission, among others.
The Director-General said the release of water from the dam would only worsen the flood situation, and called for concerted effort to address and mitigate the impact.
He solicited for calm while pledging that NEMA would continue to work with other government partners to provide succour for the affected communities.
He added that the agency plans to support affected people in the IDP camps and the host communities with , food and non-food items, while building their resilience through livelihood supports, especially with the distribution of agricultural inputs and other livelihood items.
“The country (Cameroon) has commenced release of water from the Dam at the rate of 200 cubic meters per second which is about 18 million cubic meter of water per day.
“This release may result to all front line states experiencing flooding in subsequent days and weeks. It is of great importance to also note that the Dam might commence full discharge of excess water from the Dam in the event that the region experiences heavy amount of rainfall,” the DG said.
In order to ensure effective coordination and implementation of various policies, he said NEMA has deemed it fit to invite critical stakeholders to deliberate on response to mitigate the impending flood currently being faced within Nigeria.
Giving update on flood situation, Director-General/CEO of National Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA), Engr Clement Eze, said the Cameroon has commenced release of water from Lagdo Dam by 10.10am on 14th of August 2023.
He said the exercise would continue for the next seven days, seeing that the reservoir level currently stands at 213.46m, while the maximum permissible level of the reservoir is 214.02m.
The NHISA boss said it is highly imperative to deploy high level of preparedness on the part of the federal and state governments.
He named affected region and states to include the Niger Delta as well as Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Kebbi, Niger, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Cross-Rivers and River.
Eze then urged citizens, agencies and stakeholders that are charged with disaster response and reduction to step up action and put in place measures to mitigate and avert any eventual flood disaster.