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Salako: We’ll manage release of Lagdo dam | Floods will be less severe than 2022

Salako: We’ll manage release of Lagdo dam | Floods will be less severe than 2022
August 28
14:54 2023

Ishaq Salako, minister of state for environment, said the floods caused by the Lagdo dam will be less severe this year when compared to 2022 — when Nigeria experienced its worst flooding in a decade.

Speaking on Channels TV on Monday, Salako said his ministry is aware of the intended opening of the dam.

He said flooding is inevitable as a result of the opening, adding that his ministry is working on preventive measures. 

He said the ministry has also been warning and alerting people who reside close to the River Benue banks, while appealing that they move to higher grounds. 

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“The ministry is aware and I’m sure most Nigerians are aware that Cameroon wants to open that dam,” he said.

“Thankfully, it’s not a sudden opening because the management of the opening of that dam is going to cause less severe flooding, that is what we envisage compared to 2022.  

“However, you know that there’s been a lot of warnings, alerts and requests for people who are living on the banks of the River Benue to relocate to higher grounds.

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“So we expect that some flooding will occur as a result of the opening of that dam. And it is inevitable because if the dam overflows on its own, the disaster that it will cause will be worse.

“So it’s better to have a managed release of the water in the dam to ensure that the damage is not as much.”

Salako added that the Bola Tinubu administration hopes to hasten the process of completing the alternative dam in Adamawa state, in order to hold water when the dam is opened in subsequent years. 

“On the issue of long term prevention of flooding from the opening of that dam, for some time now, there has been an approach by the government of Nigeria to build another dam in Adamawa state so that it can hold some of the water when the Cameroon dam is opened,” he said. 

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“So I think going forward, what will help us is if we are able to, of course, implement the dam that is planned to be built, I think the project is actually ongoing but it’s taking a while.

“But hopefully, under this administration, we can focus more on it but that’s really not under the purview of the ministry of environment.”

He said the ministry now has a more robust alarm system compared to 2022.

He added that this will help predict when flooding will occur, in order to take measures to reduce damages and ensure that no lives are lost.

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