Flood alert in Nigeria: Cameroon releases water from Lagdo dam

flood/lagdo dam

Flood alert in Nigeria: Cameroon releases water from Lagdo dam

The Federal Government of Nigeria has alerted states and relevant government agencies regarding the intentions of the Cameroonian government to release water from the Lagdo Dam on the Benue River.


The Cameroonian authorities have announced their plan to open the dam due to heavy rainfall in the catchment area. However, the Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Clement Nze, revealed that the notification about the water release came around seven days after the dam had already been opened.


Officials from the National Emergency Management Agency have indicated that the opening of the dam could have adverse effects on at least 11 states, including Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Cross River.


This issue of releasing water from the Lagdo Dam has been a contentious matter in Nigeria since the previous year. It’s well-known that the emergency water release from the dam last year, which started on September 13, contributed to severe flooding across 27 states in Nigeria.


The flood disaster led to 3,174 fatalities, 662 reported deaths, and the displacement of about 2,430,445 individuals in the country. According to the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA),  Nigeria typically experiences seasonal flooding but the 2022 flood disaster was the most devastating since the 2012 floods.


flood/lagdo dam

Source: Our World in Data


Several reports revealed that the Nigerian government authorities criticized the Cameroonian government for not providing prior notice about last year’s water release, leading to a lack of preparedness.


Apart from the release of water from Lagdo dam, there were also predictions made by Nimet last year, forecasting above-normal rainfall in 19 states between August and October due to the prevailing weather patterns in Nigeria. Despite their warnings, nothing concrete was done by the government at all levels to cushion the effect of the devastating flood, which ravaged homes, displaced hundreds, and washed away farmlands.


Now, it seems like history might be repeating itself, as the Lagdo Dam has been opened earlier than anticipated. The question remains: Is Nigeria adequately prepared for the potential consequences?


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