FG reminds state governments of impending floods

The Federal Government has advised state governments in frontline areas to move fast and mitigate the potential impact of Lagdo Dam floodgate.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Dr Betta Edu, gave the advice while issuing a flood warning alert during meeting of Presidential Committee on coordination and implementation in Abuja.

Edu said the call became necessary following an alert by the Cameroonian authorities to release the water from the country’s Lagdo Dam.

The minister who spoke at the instance of the Minister of Water Resources and that of Environment expressed the need for effective implementation of policies and rescue missions aimed at mitigating against the impacts of the flooding.

Edu while acknowledging the State Government’s zeal in tackling emergencies, urged them to ensure immediate evacuation of Nigerians living in flood front areas to safer destinations.

“State Governments have done quite a number of preparedness, we also appeal to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum on the need to step up actions by ensuring immediate evacuation of Nigerians from various communities to safer destinations.

“Lagdo Dam floodgate will be opened by the Cameroonian authorities soon and all the frontline States may experience flooding within the next seven days” she said.

She also pledged the readiness of the Ministry to work with Subnational and Local Governments towards providing shelters for the affected Citizens.

“Because, some of the people living in most of the communities who may be affected are afraid of losing their ancestral homes, despite the warning”, she said.

She therefore assured Nigerians on the resolve of President Tinubu-led administration to put necessary measures in place to safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerians.

Minister of Environment, Dr Isiaq Salako said the ministry has already activated the necessary flood warning alerts being release on hourly basis.

“Especially, on the water level of River Benue and River Niger as well as vulnerability level of the affected areas”, he explained.

Salako disclosed that the ministry has designed a veritable platform that will provide regular and real time information to Environmental Corespondents on the floor warning alerts.

He noted that recommendations on long term measures and solutions will be presented to the President as part of ongoing efforts towards finding lasting solution to the menace of flooding.

He also reiterated the resolve of the present administration towards working with Cameroon authorities towards ensuring that the impacts of the release of Lagdo Dam floodgate do not result to loss of lives and property as well as ensure that the damages are minimized.

Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev tasked Nigerians on the need to take necessary steps toward clearing drainages while government at all levels play their roles.

Utsev assured Nigerians that his ministry will on the long run ensure construction of dams as well as dredging of Rivers across the country with the view to end the menace of annual flooding, which has led to loss of several lives and property.

He also noted that the Ministry is already meeting with relevant stakeholders at various levels in the bid to control the waters.

The committee also assured Nigerians of its resolve to provide necessary medical support to Nigerians who may be affected by the flooding, including scourge of malaria and other water borne diseases.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Cameroonian authorities said they will open the dam in days ahead, due to heavy rainfall around the dam catchment area in Northern part of the country.

The warning is conveyed in a letter dated Aug. 21, 2023, and signed on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Affairs ministry by Umar Salisu, Director, African Affairs, addressed to the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency.


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