Ahead of an imminent flooding in the country, 13 states have been put on red alert by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The states are mostly on the banks of River Benue.
They are: Adamawa, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Edo, Delta, Kebbi, Kogi, Taraba, Niger, Nasarawa and Rivers.
NEMA also warned that Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams could overflow between now and October ending.
To prevent disasters, especially deaths, states have advised residents of the flood-prone areas to leave such communities.
The agency issued the red alert following a notification from the Foreign Affairs Ministry that Cameroon is planning to open the Lagdo Dam.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had alerted NEMA of the likelihood of flooding along the River Benue basin.
A letter signed by the Ministry’s Director of African Affairs, Umar Salisu, dated August 21, noted that “the Cameroonian government plans to open the flood gates of the Lagdo Dam on the Benue River in days ahead.”
It said that this was due to the heavy rainfall “around the dam catchment area in Northern Cameroon”.
According to the letter, when the release of water becomes necessary, the authorities of the Lagdo Dam will be releasing only modulated variable small amounts of water at a time.
This was in order to mitigate and avoid damages that the released water may cause along the River Benue basin in both Cameroon and Nigeria.
“In view of the above, it would be appreciated if the esteemed agency takes all the necessary proactive steps and actions that will mitigate the damage as well as sensitise the populace living in such areas for vigilance and all necessary precautions,” it said.
Data from NEMA revealed that the 2022 floods had displaced more than 1.4 million people, killed over 603 people, and injured more than 2,400 persons.
About 82,035 houses had been damaged, and 332,327 hectares of land had also been affected.
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