As result of the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon, A lot of Nigerian communities along the courses of River Niger and River Benue have been affected by floods.
The flooding which has claimed many lives and properties in Kogi state has also ravaged communities in Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, Anambra, and Nasarawa state.
In September, the National Emergency Management Agency and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA) informed Nigerians that “the Lagdo Dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon, had commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir on September 13, 2022.”
The agencies said they were “aware that the released water cascades down into Nigeria, through River Benue and its tributaries, thereby overwhelming communities that have already been impacted by heavy rainfall”.
But the flooding affecting Kogi state particularly did not start today. The problem can be traced back to the 80s when the Nigerian government failed to honour an agreement it had with the Cameroonian authorities.
The construction of the Lagdo Dam located in Northern Cameroon started in 1977 and was completed in 1982.
At inception, Cameroon and Nigeria had an agreement to build two dams such that when water is released from the Cameroonian dam, the Nigerian dam would contain it and prevent it from causing floods.
So, to cushion the effect of possible flooding from the Lagdo dam in Cameroon, the Nigerian government agreed to build a shock-absorber dam tagged Dasin Hausa Dam in Adamawa State.
The Dasin Hausa dam was supposed to be two and a half the size of the Lagdo dam, which was built to supply electricity to the northern part of Cameroon and allow the irrigation of 15,000 hectares of crops downstream. Like the Lagdo dam, the dam project sited at the Dasin Village of Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State was supposed to generate 300 megawatts of electricity and irrigate about 150,000 hectares of land in Adamawa, Taraba, and Benue states.
But sadly, since 1982, the Nigerian government has yet to complete the building of the Dasin Hausa dam.
As a result, anytime the Cameroonian government releases excess water from the Lagdo dam, communities in Kogi, Benue, and northeastern states get flooded.
According to the spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Manzo Ezekiel, the 2022 flooding is the highest Nigeria has ever had since 2012.