ABUJA — Several states have announced their initiatives to counteract the potential severe flooding that may arise due to the release of water from Cameroon’s Lagdo dam.
In a letter addressed to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Cameroonian government indicated its intention to discharge water from the Lagdo dam, prompting the agency to take precautionary measures.
States that are susceptible to flooding caused by the dam’s water release have already taken proactive measures to prevent loss of life and property damage. These states, including Lagos, Benue, and Delta, have also advised residents in flood-prone areas to relocate to higher ground.
LASEMA Assures Preparedness
Reacting to Cameroon’s alert, the Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, assured the state’s readiness to manage any potential emergencies stemming from the impending flood. The state has equipped LASEMA with 144 facilities capable of housing 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in case of an emergency. The agency has adopted a comprehensive emergency management strategy that includes canal clearing and the establishment of local response teams.
Benue Directs Evacuation
In response to the warning, Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) instructed individuals living on flood-prone terrain across the state to relocate to safer locations. The agency’s Executive Secretary, Sir James Iorpuu, emphasized raising public awareness and preparedness for the upcoming flood. Benue’s governor also urged residents along riverbanks to evacuate and engage in cleanup activities.
Delta State’s Precautions
Delta State government is proactively taking measures to mitigate flood effects, including the possibility of setting up internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. The Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Sir Festus Ahon, stated that drainages were being cleared and illegal structures obstructing waterways were being removed. Coastal residents were advised to move to higher ground.
Appeal to Federal Government
Bayelsa State’s Chief Press Secretary called for federal support in addressing flooding. He emphasized the need for the Federal Government to take active measures, such as river dredging, rather than solely issuing alerts.
Cameroon’s Warning and NEMA’s Response
Cameroon’s government informed NEMA of the plan to release water from the Lagdo dam due to heavy rainfall. The notification urged NEMA to take precautionary steps and educate people in vulnerable areas about potential flooding.
NEMA acknowledged the alert, emphasizing that it had already informed state governors about the imminent floods, including those from the Lagdo dam. The agency encouraged the governors to collaborate with NEMA in safeguarding lives and properties by implementing preparedness plans and moving residents away from river areas. NEMA had been preparing for this scenario and had already communicated with states likely to be impacted.
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