The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received an alert over imminent flooding on the banks of River Benue.
The alert was issued by the ministry of foreign affairs in a letter seen by TheCable, dated August 21.
The letter which was signed by Umar Salisu, the ministry’s director of African affairs, said the Cameroonian government plans to “open the flood gates of the Lagdo Dam on the Benue River in days ahead”.
This is due to the heavy rainfall “around the dam catchment area in Northern Cameroon”.
According to Salisu, the Cameroonian authorities will be releasing “only modulated variable small amount of water at a time”.
“This is in order to mitigate and avoid damages that the released water may cause along the River Benue basin in both Cameroon and in Nigeria.”
The ministry, therefore, urged NEMA to take precautionary measures in order to reduce damages.
“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,” the letter added.
Nonso Ezekiel, the spokesperson for NEMA, told TheCable that the opening of the dam gate is done routinely.
“We are fully aware of the opening of the dam and we have begun taking precautionary measures by sensitizing the communities around the River Benue,” he said.
However, they have not opened the dam. It is a routine thing because if it exceeds the limit, it can lead to the breaking of the dam and that would be more disastrous.”
NEMA urged residents of the affected areas to remain calm and to follow the instructions of the authorities.