By Damilola Olufemi
The Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Clement Nze, has disclosed that the notification regarding the water release from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam arrived approximately seven days after the dam had been opened.
He said this on Monday while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“I saw it on Saturday night, that is, [the letter was] dated 21st, about seven days or so after the dam had been opened,” he said.
According to the National Emergency Management Agency officials, no fewer than 11 states including Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River are likely to feel the negative impacts of the opening of the dam.
According The PUNCH reports that the Director of the African Affairs, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Umar Salisu, said in a letter dated August 21, 2023, that the ministry received a note from the High Commission of Cameroon as regards the opening of the dam.
The letter, which was addressed to the National Emergency Management Agency, read in part, “I have the honour to inform that the ministry is in receipt of a Note Verbale from the High Commission of the Republic of Cameroon informing that Cameroonian officials have resolved to open the flood gates of the Lagdo Dam on the Benue River in days ahead due to the heavy rainfall around the dam catchment area in Northern Cameroon.”
Nze narrated that the commissioner for information in Adamawa State had issued a press release to notify media outlets in the state about the dam’s opening in Cameroon.
He further explained, “On August 22, being Tuesday, the permanent secretary in the Water Resources Ministry sent it to me to verify immediately. I had to put a call through to the hydrologist on the dam in Cameroon, and it was not until Wednesday morning that we got talking.”
He added, “So, he sent me all the details that they opened the dam 10 minutes past 10 am on the 14th of August, and they had been spilling water at the rate of about 20 million cubic metres per day — about 200 metres per second.”