• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Rainfall, not Cameroon responsible for Nigeria’s floods – Minister

Adamu’s policy on language of instruction: A wrong step forward

Suleiman Adamu, Nigeria’s minister of water resources has said that rainfall and not excess water from the Lagbo Dam in Cameroon is not responsible for the flooding ravaging various communities across 30 states in Nigeria.

Adamu stated this while defending his ministry’s 2023 budget before the Senate committee on water resources, in Abuja.

In a statement on Thursday by the director of information in the ministry, Offie Kenechukwu, the minister said the inflow from the dam to Nigeria was only one percent of the flooding.

The statement said Adamu made the clarification to debunk the belief by some Nigerians that Cameroon was responsible for Nigeria’s current flooding.

“Yes, the dam releases water; sometimes it releases water without notice and when they do that, it has an impact on communities downstream.

“It is not the main reason you have flooding in this country. The tributaries of River Benue are the main cause. And this year, the rains have been unprecedented,” the minister said in the statement.

Adamu said the transboundary water that comes into Nigeria from Rivers Niger and Benue constitutes only 20 percent of the freshwater that flows into the country.

Read also: Floods: Okowa urges FG to be proactive, build new dams

“Eighty percent of the flood is the water we are blessed with from the sky falling on Mambila and Jos Plateau. Most of this flow is from Nigeria,” he said.

The minister, however, said that the Federal Government was not often informed by the Cameroonian government on the annual release of water from Lagbo Dam.

“It took a lot of effort for us for them to sign an MoU to be informing Nigeria about releases. It was signed in 2016. Since then, every year, when the flood season comes, it is the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency that calls them to know their level of water.

“We cannot blame the flood this year on Cameroon. We can only blame them for violating the terms of the MoU,” Adamu said.

Adamu said the Nigerian government will call for a review of the MoU.

On the Dasin Hausa Dam in Adamawa which could serve as a solution to flooding, the minister said “whether we are able to do the dam or not, we will continue to have floods on the River Niger and Benue basins”.

“There was a consultant that had been appointed by the previous administration to work on this dam. When I came into the office, I checked the scope of work and the terms of reference. I was not satisfied that justice will be done to that design.

“You cannot build a dam as important and strategic as Dasin Hausa on River Benue without a detailed feasibility and engineering design,” he said.

The minister disclosed that he disengaged the consultant in 2016, adding that it was one of the 116 projects that the ministry had. Adamu expressed the optimism that by March 2023, the feasibility studies and engineering design will be completed.

Chairman of the committee, Bello Mandiya, urged the ministry to find a lasting solution to flooding around the country.