The Federal Government has officially announced that the floodgate of the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon has been opened by Cameroonian authorities. This action raises concerns that several frontline states might experience flooding within the coming week.
To ensure a well-coordinated response to this situation and the effective execution of various policies and rescue operations aimed at minimizing the flood’s impact, the Presidential Committee convened in Abuja. During the meeting, it was decided that Vice President Kasim Shettima would chair the Committee.
The flood warning alert was communicated by Dr. Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, during a media briefing organized by the Presidential Committee, established by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu following a Federal Executive Council (FEC) session.
While acknowledging the preparatory actions taken by state governments, Edu emphasized the urgency for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to accelerate measures, including the immediate evacuation of residents from vulnerable communities to safer locations.
Edu also affirmed the Ministry’s commitment to collaborate with subnational and local governments to provide shelters for affected citizens. She acknowledged that some residents in these communities hesitated to leave due to their emotional attachment to their ancestral homes, despite the impending danger.
Reassuring the public, Edu underscored President Tinubu’s administration’s determination to implement necessary safeguards for the lives and property of Nigerians across the nation.
Dr. Iziaq Salako, the Minister of Environment, shared that his Ministry had activated regular hourly flood warnings nationwide, focusing on the water levels of River Benue and River Niger, along with the vulnerability of affected areas. Salako revealed the development of a reliable platform designed to provide journalists with real-time flood warning updates without relying solely on the Ministry’s notifications.
Salako affirmed ongoing efforts to avert a national disaster and revealed plans to submit recommendations for long-term solutions to President Tinubu. These proposals aim to address the persistent threat of flooding effectively.
Additionally, the Minister reiterated the administration’s commitment to collaborating with Cameroon’s authorities. The goal is to ensure that the release of water from the Lagdo Dam floodgate does not lead to loss of life or property. The focus is also on minimizing damages resulting from the flood.
Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Professor Joseph Utsev, urged citizens to take responsibility for clearing drainage systems. He emphasized the role of governments at all levels in this process. Utsev assured that the Ministry plans to construct dams and dredge rivers across the country in the long run. These measures are part of the strategy to combat annual flooding and prevent the loss of lives and property.
Utsev reported ongoing discussions with relevant stakeholders at various levels to manage the water situation, execute rescue missions, and mitigate the flood’s impact.
Lastly, the Committee guaranteed its commitment to providing necessary medical assistance to those affected by the impending flooding.