The Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Clement Nze, yesterday said the notification on the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon came about seven days after the dam was opened.
He said this while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
The National Emergency Management Agency had been informed about a note verbale from the Cameroonian High Commission that officials had resolved to open the floodgates of the Lagdo Dam in days ahead due to the heavy rainfall around the dam’s catchment area in Northern Cameroon.
NEMA had listed most vulnerable states Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa.
Nze said he saw the notification “on Saturday night, that is, (the letter was) dated 21st, about seven days or so after the dam had been opened.”
“On August 22, being Tuesday, the permanent secretary in the Water Resources Ministry sent it to me to verify immediately. I had to put a call through to the hydrologist on the dam in Cameroon and it was not until Wednesday morning that we got talking
“So, he sent me all the details that they opened the dam 10 minutes past 10 am on the 14th of August and they had been spilling water at the rate of about 20 million cubic metres per day; about 200 metres per second,” he said.
When asked if the information could be considered “late news”, Nze said, “That may be so”.
The president of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, at a press conference in Abuja yesterday, urged the government to construct flood control dams along the Rivers Niger and Benue to avert flooding that might occur from the opening of the Lagdo Dam.
He also called for the dredging of major rivers to reduce siltation and sedimentation.
He said the recommendations of the committees set up by the government after the 2012 and 2022 flood disasters to conduct research and develop comprehensive action plans for preventing reoccurrence, had not been implemented.