The Nigerian government had warned that several frontline states risk flooding in the next seven days by the opening of the Lagdo Dam by the Cameroonian authorities.
The dam is located along River Benue in the Republic of Cameroon and has a history of over flooding some Nigerians states that are along its navigation ways.
The states that might be affected include Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa.
The flood warning alert was issued by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, at a media briefing held at the instance of the Presidential Committee instituted by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
It was also resolved that the Vice President, Kasim Shettima would chair the Committee.
Minister of Environment, Dr. Iziaq Salako and Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, were are also members of the committee.
Edu, urged the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to immediately upscale actions by ensuring the evacuation of Nigerians from various communities to safer destinations.
She said the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs would work with subnational and local government authorities towards the provision of shelters for the affected citizens.
She noted that some of the people living in most of the communities who may be affected were afraid of losing their ancestral homes, despite the warning.
The minister stressed the resolve of the Tinubu-led administration toward putting necessary measures in place to safeguard the lives of property of Nigerians across the country.
On his part, Salako disclosed that the Ministry of Environment had activated necessary flood warning alerts on hourly basis across the country on the water level of River Benue and River Niger as well as vulnerability level of the affected areas.
He noted that the Ministry had designed veritable platform that would provide regular and real time information to environmental correspondents on the floor warning alerts without waiting for the ministry.
Salako also said recommendations on long term measures solutions would be presented to the president as part of ongoing efforts towards finding lasting solution to the menace of flooding.
The minister further stressed the resolve of the present administration towards working with the Cameroonian authorities towards ensuring that the impacts of the release of Lagdo Dam floodgate do not lead to loss of lives and property while also mitigating damages.
In his remarks, Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Professor Joseph Utsev, tasked Nigerians on the need to take precautions toward clearing drainages while government at all levels play their roles.
He assured that the Ministry will on the long run ensure construction of dams as well as dredge rivers channels the country with the view to ending the menace of annual flooding, which has led to loss of several lives and property.
He added that the Ministry was also meeting with relevant stakeholders at various levels in the bid to controlling the waters, as well curbing the impacts of the flooding.
In the meantime, Edo and Benue States have informed residents in lowlands and riverine areas in their respective states about the imminent disaster.