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NIHSA: Flood in Taraba not caused by opening of Cameroon dam

NIHSA: Flood in Taraba not caused by opening of Cameroon dam
July 12
20:16 2021

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) says there was no release of water from the Lagdo dam built within Cameroon axis of river Benue.

NIHSA stated this to clarify claims that the release of water from the dam led to the recent flooding incident in Taraba.

Over the weekend, several houses were submerged after a heavy downpour in the state.

Speaking on the development, the agency said the flood was aggravated by inadequate drainage systems and buildings erected within the floodpaths.

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NIHSA explained that the flood couldn’t have been caused by spillage of water from the dam, as that only occurs around September when the reservoir level of the dam reaches 216 metres.

“The attention of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has been drawn to the news making the rounds through several print and electronic media outlets, alleging that over 300 buildings have been submerged in a flood that ravaged several communities in Jalingo, the Taraba state capital.” the statement, issued on Sunday, reads.

“It was widely reported that the flood was aggravated by the release of water from the Cameroonian Lagdo Dam built within the Cameroonian portion of River Benue.

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“The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency wishes to emphatically state that the flash flood was caused by localised heavy downpour that occurred from the night of Friday, 9th July till around 4am on Saturday, 10th July, 2021 in Mayo Goi area of Jalingo town.

“However, report from the NIHSA Yola Office stated that poor or lack of drainage systems, buildings erected within the flood paths, etc, aggravated the flood, and not release of any water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.

“Under normal circumstances, it is usually around the 3rd week of September that the Lagdo Dam reservoir approaches an elevation of 213m. Spillage of water can only take place once the reservoir level approaches 216m. Therefore, no release of water from Lagdo Dam ever took place.”

The agency stated that they had earlier released the 2021 annual flood outlook and sent out alerts to state governments, including Taraba, informing them of LGAs that fall within the highly probable flood risk LGAs in the country.

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The agency warned that, going by the seasonal climate prediction released by NIMET, there would be more flooding incidents if there is high intensity of rain within the next few months.

“From the recent updates on 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), some parts of the country are already witnessing delayed onset of rainfall and there is a likelihood of early cessation of rainfall,” the agency said.

“Under this climatic condition, there is the possibility of most parts of the country experiencing a shorter period of rainy season.

“Therefore, when the spread of rainfall is over a shorter period, there is the tendency to experience more flooding incidents in the event the rainfall within these few months is of high intensity.”

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