The federal government has warned of more floods in the country after the flooding catastrophe that affected over 2.5 million people linked to the Cameroonian authorities’ release of water from the Lagdo Dam.
Of this figure, 1.3 million people were displaced, 2,407 persons were injured, and 603 people died. The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, released these figures on Sunday at a press conference in Abuja.
She announced that Nigeria would meet with Cameroon over the release of water from the Lagdo Dam.
“However, we must initiate a bilateral discussion with authorities in Cameroon in November on the periodic opening of the Lagdo dam. The delegation to Cameroon is to be led by the permanent secretary of the ministry, and the ministry of foreign affairs will be requested to facilitate the meeting,” Ms Farouq stated.
Ms Farouq urged state governments to put more effort into evacuating flood victims to higher grounds, disclosing that about 121,318 houses were partially damaged, 82,053 houses were damaged, 108,392 hectares of farmlands were partially damaged, and 332,327 hectares of farmlands were damaged.
“While we mourn the unfortunate boat mishap in Anambra and other locations, please, we must note that we are not completely out of the woods,” Ms Farouq said.
According to her, weather forecasts indicated that Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa are still at risk of experiencing floods until the end of November.
“So, we are calling on the respective state governments, LGAs and communities to prepare by evacuating people living on flood plains to high grounds, providing tents and relief materials, fresh water as well as medical supply for a possible outbreak of water-borne diseases,” the minister warned.
On February 15, NiMet released the 2022 seasonal climate prediction informing Nigerians there would be longer and heavier rains. On May 12, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency released the Annual Flood Outlook.
After the two releases, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) warned of expected floods and advised on mitigating and preparedness actions needed to minimise losses and damages, said Ms Farouq.