The Civil Society Organization (CSO) and the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), have called upon President Bola Tinubu to make the construction of the flood mitigation dam a top priority. This came as the specter of the 2023 flood and water release from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam looms large. This dam would absorb water released from the Lagdo Dam and effectively mitigate the devastating impact of flooding in Nigeria.
Chima Williams, the Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, emphasized the urgent need to initiate the construction of the dam. Such infrastructure would serve as a preventive measure, alleviating the annual suffering of Nigerians.
The Impact Of The Release Of Water From The Lagdo Dam.
The release of water from the Lagdo Dam impacted around 13 Nigerian states, including Kogi, Benue, Adamawa, Bauchi, and more. The federal government issued an alert to states and relevant agencies regarding the Cameroonian government’s plan to open the floodgate of Lagdo Dam on the Benue River. The Cameroonian authorities cited heavy rainfall in the dam’s catchment area as the reason. The government urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to take proactive steps to mitigate potential damage.
Williams emphasized the need to address both the problem and its solutions decisively, as they are well-known. Rather than providing annual relief materials to flood victims, we must pursue a lasting solution, regardless of the cost. He then continued with the pursuit of the construction of the flood mitigation dam.
He stated, “This issue of flooding is now a recurring challenge in our nation’s life. Despite numerous predictions and forecasts, proactive measures by the government have been lacking.”
Williams argued that using the Lagdo Dam as an excuse for inaction merely covers up leadership inefficiencies in the sector. He questioned the government’s commitment to environmental protection, suggesting that the lack of proactive measures to prevent flooding reflects poorly on the nation.
In conclusion, Williams called on Nigeria to take serious steps to protect its citizens by the construction of the flood mitigation dam. He urged the government to consider constructing its own dam to absorb the released water or implement protective mechanisms like a push-back wall, emphasizing that the cost should not deter such vital initiatives.