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Expect More Flooding, NIHSA Warns Residents Of Lagos, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Others Cities

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File Photo: Flood Incident

Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) on Monday warned Nigerians, especially residents of Edo, Delta, Rivers, Anambra and Bayelsa states, to prepare for more flooding in the coming days.

It said it is due to water released from the Lagdo dam in Cameroon.

Residents of the Lekki area of Lagos and other parts of the state will also experience some flooding, the agency said.

NIHSA Director-General Clement Onyeaso Eze, at a news conference in Abuja, blamed the Cameroonian authorities for the flooding, which he said has ravaged communities in Adamawa, Taraba and Benue states.

He accused Cameroon of breaching a memorandum of understanding on the release of the water.

Eze said even when his agency made enquiries, the Cameroonian authorities first denied releasing water from any of its dams but later admitted doing so after series of enquiries backed by video evidence of the rising water level along the River Benue.

According to him, the Cameroonian authorities may have envisaged the situation when they advised the Nigerian government to construct a buffer dam to absolve whatever water may be released from the Lagdo dam.

He said: “Parts of Adamawa State has been submerged; Taraba is affected adversely, as well as Benue State.”

Eze added: “As a result of the spilling of water from the Lagdo dam, the entire territory within Nigeria that are contiguous to River Benue in Adamawa, Taraba and Benue states have been adversely affected.

“The essence of this briefing is to inform Nigerians, especially states that are contiguous to River Benue and River Niger, that there was a release of water from Cameroon and having converged in Lokoja, those who passed Lokoja reported that before the Kotokarfe bridge, the communities have already been submerged and the waters have started crossing the road. That is what caused the flooding in Nigeria at this time.

“What does this portend for states downstream Kogi State? The excess water from Lagdo dam that has arrived Nigeria will be moving down to the states and communities downstream Lokoja as a town. Edo State, especially Agenebode axis, Anambra state, going through Onitsha, Delta state, Rivers and then Bayelsa, will be affected.

“The flood that occurred in Adamawa state will eventually get to them. So, we are not yet out of the flooding season because of the release of water from Lagdo dam. So, the flood will continue in these areas.”

“The agency wishes to advise the following states downstream Kogi State, namely Edo, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa states to be on the watch out. They are placed on red alert because the flood in faraway Adamawa state will find its way down to these states before emptying into the Atlantic ocean.

“The rainy season within the southern part of Nigeria will continue and may continue till December in some places, which mean a combination of the flooding caused by the release from the dam and the rainfall within these areas will still aggravate the flooding in these locations.

“By this time in 2018, the flood level in Nigeria has generally gone down, the same with 2012 when we had the biggest flooding season ever in Nigeria. So, the southern states of the country and Kogi state are not yet free.

“The Cameroonian authorities envisaged what is happening now and advised Nigeria to construct their dam within their territory. A dam serves several purposes, like irrigation, flood control, hydropower and others.

“Unfortunately it has remained on the drawing board. What we have advised is that to build such a dam will take so much. The Mambilla dam which is supposed to generate about 3000 megawatts of electricity is costing nothing less than $5 billion. So, we have been advocating for having small earth dams on the tributary of River Benue within Nigeria.”

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