Following the release of water from Lagdo Dam and the likely impacts on States amd communities along River Benue, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has convened Emergency Coordination Forum of disaster management stakeholders to review the situation and related issues with view to take necessary actions.
The meeting was held in Abuja today Wednesday 30th August 2023.
Addressing participants, the Director General NEMA Mustapha Habib Ahmed said it was convened for critical stakeholders to come together to strategize and ensure that the release do not cause much negative impacts on the low-lying communities along the states that would be affected.
He said “we have already started experiencing flood in some parts of the country this year with the rainfall. The release from the Lagdo Dam will only worsen the flood situation and therefore calls for concerted effort so as to address and mitigate the impact.”
He reassured that NEMA will continue to work with other government partners to provide succour including food and non-food items to affected people in the IDP camps and the host communities while building their resilience through livelihood supports, especially with the distribution of agricultural inputs and other livelihood items.
In his presentation, Director General Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) Engr Clem Onyeaso Eze said the release of excess water which managers of Lagdo Dam started on 14th August 2023 was stopped on 28th August 2023.
Speaking earlier, the Director of Planning Research and Forecasting Dr Onimode A. Bandele said the timely hosting of the meeting was aimed at bringing together the stakeholders to prepare, mitigate and respond to humanitarian issues that the released water may cause along the River Benue basin.
He said “today‘s meeting is convened to update and discuss with stakeholders from various sectors, issues surrounding the release of water from the Lagdo dam as well as the present flood situation in the country. I therefore wish to solicit for your meaningful contribution in order to chart the way forward to address possible challenges.”
Highlights of the meeting were presentations, questions and answers, while practical solutions were proffered on the wayforward.
Participants at the meeting were representatives of MDAs, Military, para-military including NSCDC, FRSC, FFS etc. Also present were representatives of the United Nations systems.