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Flooding: I Saw Notice A Week After Cameroon Dam Release – Nigeria Hydrological Agency Boss

An August 21, 2023 letter by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs alerted the National Emergency Management Agency on impending flooding along the River Benue Basin.


The Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Clement Nze, appears on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, August 28, 2023.

 

The Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Clement Nze, says notification on the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon came about seven days after the facility was opened, leading to flooding alerts in several Nigerian states.

“I saw it on Saturday night, that is, [the letter was] dated 21st, about seven days or so after the dam had been opened,” Nze said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily Monday, alluding to a “gap” in the communication chain.

The revelation follows the release of an August 21, 2023 letter by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which alerted the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on impending flooding along the River Benue Basin.

The NIHSA director-general recalled that the commissioner for information in Adamawa State had issued a press release informing all media houses in the state that the dam had been opened in Cameroon.

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“On the 22nd [of August] 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,” Nze said.

“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.”

Asked if the information could be considered “late news”, the hydrological agency boss said, “That may be so”.