The federal government has said that contrary to the widely held notion, the Lagbo Dam in Cameroon is not responsible for the flooding currently ravaging many parts of the country.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu who made this known while defending the 2023 budget of his ministry before the Senate Committee on Water Resources, said that most of the water that caused flooding was not from the Lagbo Dam. He explained that the contribution from the dam to Nigeria was only one per cent.
This is coming as residents of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and other states across the country continue to groan over the rampaging flooding of their houses and businesses, more woes have come their way in the form of the escalating prices of food items, commodities, transportation and other products.
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According to Adamu, “The dam releases water; sometimes it releases water without notice and when they do that, it impacts on communities downstream. It is not the main reason you have floods in this country.
He explained that the tributaries of River Benue are the main cause, adding that this year, the rains have been unprecedented. He said that the transboundary waters that even come into this country from Rivers Niger and Benue constitute only 20 per cent of the freshwater that flows into the country.
“Eighty per cent of the flood is the water we are blessed with from the sky falling on Mambila and Jos Plateau. Most of this flow is from Nigeria,” the minister said.
Speaking further, he said that the federal government was not informed by the Cameroonian Government on the annual release of water from Lagbo Dam, adding that It took a lot of effort from us for them to sign an MoU for them to be informing Nigeria about releases.
“It was signed in 2016. Since then, every year, when the flood season comes it is the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency that calls them to know their level of water,” he said. “We cannot blame the flood this year on Cameroon. We can only blame them for violating the terms of the MoU.”
He noted that the government would call for a review of the MoU to abate the flood.
Story was adapted from Thisday.