The federal government of Nigeria said that the Lagbo Dam in Cameroon is not responsible for the flooding currently happening in many parts of the country; contrary to what is widely believed by many. The Minister of Water Resources stated this while defending the 2023 budget of his ministry before the Senate Committee on Water Resources. According to the minister, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, most of the water that caused flooding is not from the Lagbo Dam; explaining that the contribution from the dam was a mere one percent. He said, “The dam releases water; sometimes it releases water without notice and when they do that, it impacts on communities downstream. It is not the main reason you have flood in this country.
“The tributaries of River Benue are the main cause. And this year, the rains have been unprecedented. The transboundary waters that even come into this country from Rivers Niger and Benue constitute only 20 percent of the freshwater that flows into the country.” He further said the federal government was not informed of the annual release of water from Lagbo Dam by the Cameroonian Government.
He said, “It took a lot of effort from us for them to sign an MoU for them 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 also said that the government will call for a review of the MoU to abate the flood in the coming days.
Concerning the Dasin Hausa Dam in Adamawa which could have served as a solution to flooding, Adamu said, “whether we are able to do the dam or not, we will continue to have floods on the Rivers 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 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.
“I disengaged the consultant in 2016. It was one of the 116 projects that we had. In our roadmap, we made a decision that going forward, we have enough dams, 37 ongoing. We cannot take any new dam, let’s complete what is ongoing. We appointed a consultant to do the required diligent feasibility study and engineering design for the project.”
He concluded by expressing his optimism that by March 2023, the dam will be completed.