The recent announcement of a significant water release from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon has prompted Nigerian states along the course of the River Benue to prepare for potential flood disasters within their regions. In response to the impending threat, states at risk have urged residents in flood-prone areas to evacuate their homes to prevent loss of life and property.
Authorities from the National Emergency Management Agency have identified approximately 11 states, including Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Cross River, as being susceptible to the adverse consequences of the dam’s water release. In light of this situation, state governments have advised residents to take necessary precautions and relocate to safer locations.
According to a letter received by the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the High Commission of Cameroon has informed the Nigerian government of their decision to open the flood gates of the Lagdo Dam due to heavy rainfall in the northern catchment area. Cameroon plans to release water from the dam in a controlled manner to minimize the potential damage to communities downstream.
While the National Emergency Management Agency and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency have assured the public that there is no immediate cause for alarm, they have outlined a series of steps to be taken by the affected state governments. These measures include closely monitoring flood-prone areas, educating local populations about the risks, and moving residents to safer ground.
States such as Benue have already begun removing structures obstructing waterways and designating schools as temporary shelters for internally displaced persons. Nasarawa State has announced the demolition of structures built on waterways, while Taraba State has issued warnings to communities located along the River Benue valley.
Although the situation is being closely monitored, officials emphasize the need for proactive preparation and awareness to mitigate the potential impact of the dam’s water release on vulnerable communities.