The Federal Government has accused the Republic of Cameroon of breaching the agreement reached on the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.
The FG claimed the Cameroonian authorities breached the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries on the operations of the Lagdo Dam, resulting in the flooding in parts of the country, particularly in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Kogi states.
Lagdo Dam provides electricity, potable water and irrigates farmlands in northern Cameroon but the release of excess water from the facility usually leads to flooding in Nigerian communities on the banks of rivers Benue and Niger down to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Federal Government said on Monday Cameroon had admitted it released water from the dam without informing Nigeria as agreed in the MoU.
The Director-General of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Clement Nze, said, “After several weeks of denials, the Cameroonian authorities responsible for the operation of Lagdo Dam confirmed to NIHSA that they released water from the Dam.”
The ‘confession’ by Cameroon was conveyed in a letter forwarded to the Nigerian agency on Thursday.
In the letter, released by Nze, the Cameroonian authorities read, “This year is an exceptional year in terms of rainfall in the sub-region.
“Regarding the Lagdo Dam, the vanes were opened only around October 10, 2019 in anticipation of floods upstream while in normal year the rains stop mid-October.”
Blaming the Cameroonian government for the flooding, Nze said, “The current development of non-disclosure of information on the operation of Lagdo Dam by Cameroonian authorities runs contrary to the spirit and letter of the MoU signed between the two countries.”
Nigeria is located downstream of eight other countries that make up the Niger Basin, namely Guinea Conakry, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Benin Republic, Chad and Cameroon.
Apart from the release of water from the dam, inflow of flood from the countries and the extended cessation date of local rainfall also lead to flooding in Nigeria.
Following the development, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency has asked the governments of Edo, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa states to identify communities near River Niger and make adequate plans for timely evacuation of people to safe and higher grounds in the event of flooding.
“The river flooding that occurred in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Kogi states will still find its way through these states before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean,” Nze warned.
He warned that “the southern states will be experiencing rainfall of different degrees till December; hence, flooding could still take place”.