The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has moved to alleviate the concerns of Nigerians regarding the imminent release of excess water from the Lagdo Dam situated on the River Benue in the neighboring Republic of Cameroon. In a statement conveyed by the Head of the Press Unit, Manzo Ezekiel, on Monday, NEMA underscored its proactive measures to collaborate with key stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels. Their collective goal is to mitigate potential adverse effects on the vulnerable communities lining the states that would experience repercussions.
Noteworthy is the fact that the states downstream of the River Benue encompass Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Rivers, and Bayelsa.
NEMA’s statement elucidated, “Anticipating the release of surplus water from the Lagdo Dam, the Agency has foreseen the probable consequences and diligently factored these into preparations for the mitigation and response strategies associated with the 2023 flood alert.”
The statement continued, “As of August 25th, 2023, the flow level of the River Benue at the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) gauging station in Makurdi stood at 8.97 meters, contrasting with the reading of 8.80 meters on the same date in 2022.”
NEMA emphasized that the River Niger system’s flow level, specifically at Niamey in Niger Republic, remains stable at the standard level of 4.30 meters. Similarly, inland dams, including Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro, have consistently reported steady flow patterns.
Providing additional insights, NEMA stated, “At the hydrological station downstream of the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers in Lokoja, Kogi State, the current measurements are well within normal ranges. Nonetheless, the monitoring station further downstream recorded a flow level of 7.80 meters on August 25th, 2023, in comparison to the reading of 8.24 meters on the same date in 2022.”
The reassuring stance taken by NEMA highlights their commitment to safeguarding communities from potential flood-related issues and demonstrates the organization’s preparedness to respond effectively to any emerging challenges.