Lagdo Dam: NEMA says full discharge possible if rains continue


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned that the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon may release all of its excess water if the heavy rains continue.

Mustapha Ahmed, the Director-General of NEMA, made this announcement yesterday at an Emergency Coordination Forum of Disaster Management Stakeholders meeting in Abuja.

He said: “This release may result in all frontline states experiencing flooding in subsequent days and weeks. It is of great importance to also note that the dam might commence full discharge of excess water in the event that the region experiences heavy amounts of rainfall.”

This meeting was called because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received notification that Cameroon has begun releasing water from the Lagdo Dam on the Benue River at a rate of 200 cubic meters per second, which is about 18 million cubic meters of water per day.

Ahmed highlighted that there is no pre-existing budget to address the impact of flooding from the Lagdo Dam. Therefore, all states should be on high alert and prepared to take necessary action.
“We don’t have any standing budget for this yet. The gates, as we are all aware, have been opened and closed also. So, the extent of the damage will not immediately be known; it is after the flood season that we can assess the damage to know what the budget will be,” he said.

Ahmed stated that the responsibility for setting up IDP camps in states lies solely with the state governors, with NEMA providing assistance as needed.

Clement Nze, Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), stressed the importance of a high level of preparedness by the federal and state governments in the face of possible flooding.

Daria Volkova, the Representative of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), assured Nigerians and all stakeholders present that the UN would continue to support Nigeria in mitigating the negative effects of flooding.