The Federal Government has advised state governments in frontline areas to take necessary measures toward mitigating the potential impact Lagdo Dam floodgate.
Dr Betta Edu, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, gave the advice while issuing a flood warning alert during a meeting of the Presidential Committee on Coordination and Implementation in Abuja.
Edu said the call became necessary following an alert by the Cameroonian authorities to release the water from the country’s Lagdo Dam.
The minister who spoke at the instance of the Minister of Water Resources and that of Environment expressed the need for effective implementation of policies and rescue missions aimed at mitigating the impacts of the flooding.
Edu while acknowledging the State Government’s zeal in tackling emergencies, urged them to ensure immediate evacuation of Nigerians living in floodfront areas to safer destinations.
”State Governments have done quite a number of preparedness, we also appeal to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on the need to step up actions by ensuring immediate evacuation of Nigerians from various communities to safer destinations.
“Lagdo Dam floodgate has been opened by the Cameroonian authorities and all the frontline States may experience flooding within the next seven days,” she said.
She also pledged the readiness of the Ministry to work with Subnational and Local Governments towards providing shelters for the affected Citizens.
“Because, some of the people living in most of the communities who may be affected are afraid of losing their ancestral homes, despite the warning,” she said.
She, therefore, assured Nigerians of the resolve of President Tinubu-led administration to put necessary measures in place to safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerians.
Also, the Minister of Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako said the ministry has already activated the necessary flood warning alerts being released on an hourly basis.
”Especially, on the water level of River Benue and River Niger as well as vulnerability level of the affected areas,” he said.
Salako also said the ministry has designed a veritable platform that will provide regular and real-time information to Environmental correspondents on the floor warning alerts without waiting for the Ministry.
He noted that recommendations on long-term measures and solutions will be presented to Mr. President as part of ongoing efforts towards finding lasting solutions to the menace of flooding.
He also reiterated the resolve of the present administration towards working with Cameroon authorities to ensure that the impacts of the release of the Lagdo Dam floodgate do not result in loss of lives and property as well as ensure that the damages are minimized.
On his part, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, tasked Nigerians with the need to take necessary steps toward clearing drainages while the government at all levels plays its role.
Utsev assured Nigerians that his ministry will, in the long run, ensure the construction of dams as well as the dredging of Rivers across the country with the view to end the menace of annual flooding, which has led to the loss of several lives and property.
He also noted that the Ministry is already meeting with relevant stakeholders at various levels in a bid to control the waters.
The committee also assured Nigerians of its resolve to provide necessary medical support to Nigerians who may be affected by the flooding, including the scourge of malaria and other waterborne diseases.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Cameroonian authorities said they will open the dam “in days ahead, due to heavy rainfall around the dam catchment area in the Northern part of the country.
A letter dated Aug. 21, signed on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Umar Salisu, Director, African Affairs, addressed to the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NENA).
NAN reports that the letter noted that “it is pertinent to note that when the release of water becomes necessary, the authorities of Lagdo Dam will be releasing on modulated variable mall amount of water at a time.
“This is with a view to mitigate and avoid damages that the released water may cause along the River Benue basin in both Cameroon and Nigeria.