As the operators of Lagdo Dam in Cameroon commence the discharge of excess water from its reservoir, with the likelihood of 14 states being flooded in Nigeria, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), has ordered its grassroots mobilisation officers to begin sensitisation of communities in the frontline states to relocate immediately.
Dr. Garba Abari, Director-General of the agency, in a statement, noted that already, the Nigeria Hydrological Agency (NIHSA), had predicted the flooding and its consequential damage to many communities on the coast of River Niger and Benue.
He expressed regrets that in 2012, flooding had damaged some roads in the North Central and North East regions of the country, leading to the destruction and displacement of many communities.
He said based on the reports received, the Lagdo Dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir by September 13, 2022.
He said it was on record that the released water cascades down to Nigeria through River Benue through its tributaries, thereby inundating communities that have been already impacted by heavy precipitation, adding that the released water complicated the situation, further downstream as Nigeria’s inland reservoirs, including Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro are expected to overflow between now and October ending.
According to him, based on the reports from NIHSA, the Kainji and Jebba Dams have already started spilling excess water from their reservoirs, adding that it would have serious consequences on frontline states and communities along the courses of Rivers Niger and Benue.
He mentioned the states as; Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Enugu, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger Delta, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross-River, Rivers and Bayelsa States may be affected.
He urged the state directors to create awareness of the need for state governments to identify safe high grounds for evacuation of communities at risk, preposition adequate stockpiles of food and non-food items, potable water and hygiene and provide safety and security to enable them have a fair level of comfort during periods of possible displacement.
He called on the community orientation officers to identify other partners that would help to support communities at risk with the necessary information that will assist them to move to safety.
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