Lagdo Dam not entirely responsible for 2022 flooding — NEMA

THE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said the Lagbo Dam in Cameroon was not entirely responsible for the flooding that ravaged many parts of Nigeria in 2022.

He said most of the water that caused flooding was not from the Lagbo Dam, adding that the contribution from the dam to Nigeria was only in some parts where the water from the river passed.

NEMA spokesman Manzo Ezekiel disclosed this on Wednesday, April 26, during a Twitter Space on the theme: ‘Flooding: Analysing Nigerian Government Preparedness’, organised by The ICIR.

Ezekiel said there was serious flooding in Lagos and Jigawa where Lagdo water didn’t flow through, adding that the heavy rainfall in 2022 was the major cause.

He said: “The flood that happened last year didn’t happen only along the River Benue belt. We have a flood that happened somewhere in Jigawa which is not lying along the Benue. So we can’t blame the flood of last year entirely on the release of water from Lagdo Dam.

“By the way, in the past, almost every year the Lagdo Dam authority has been releasing excess water and it’s in our interest that they release the excess water because if the dam in Lagdo should break the devastating effect down the river will be worse than the thing we have witnessed. We also have floods that happened in parts of the country like Lagos too and not because of Lagdo.,,

Ezekiel added that NEMA is currently working to mitigate the risk effect of flood this year based on the predictions that were released by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA).

“To manage the flood, it has to be on a continual basis because certain things that you do this year to avert or mitigate the occurrence of flood this year if done next year, it may aggravate the occurrence of flood next year.

Flooded area
Flooded area

“So the forecasts that we are working with this year are based on the predictions that were released by NiMet and the annual flood outlook that was issued by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency. These are the two agencies of government with the mandate of forecasting releasing vital information concerning the rain pattern and the water content of the soil for the year.”

He also reiterated that Nigeria could witness a worse incident of flood in some parts of of the country this year as NiMet already forecasted average and above rainfall in some states.

“So what we witnessed last year could be worse because in some parts of the country, it has been forecasted that they will witness average and above average rainfall. I am talking about places like coastal areas particularly around rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa ibom, Delta and Cross River.

“The amount of expected rainfall on this side of the country is going to be as high as 2,700mm or even above and this is the amount of rainfall that some parts of the country record over a period of three years. Now we are expecting this amount of rainfall in just one year along these coastal areas.”

Ezekiel added that people living around places where high rainfall has been forecasted must be aware and begin to plan ahead to avoid trouble.

He added that: “We have other parts of the country that have been forecasted to have average and below rainfall. I am talking about states like Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Kaduna and the FCT.”

The ICIR reported that in 2022, Nigeria experienced the worst flooding in over a decade.






     

     

    The country has been recording seasonal flooding, which occurs during the rainy season that starts in April and runs till October, but in some years, continues until the end of November.

    Apart from the reported deaths, more than 3.3 million persons are estimated to have been affected nationwide, and 1,427,370 persons displaced.

    According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), floods impacted 35 states in Nigeria. The highest number of affected individuals were recorded in Anambra, Jigawa, and Bayelsa states.

    In Bayelsa State specifically, the government reported that approximately 700,000 individuals were displaced from 300 communities and villages across five out of eight local government areas due to flooding caused by heavy rainfall.

     

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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