The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has called for immediate construction of flood control dams along the Rivers Niger and Benue to ward off flooding likely to be occasioned by the release of Lagdo dam in Cameroon.
Tasiu Gidari-Wudil,the NSE president,stated this at a news conference in Abuja on Monday.
The NSE’s call is in response to a letter by the Cameroonian authorities to the Nigerian government, saying they would open the floodgate of Lagdo Dam on the River Benue in days ahead, due to heavy rainfall around the dam catchment area in Northern Cameroon.
The letter, signed by Umar Salisu ,the director of African Affairs, explained that the decision to open the Lagdo Dam is to reduce the level of water caused by the persistent rain in Cameroon.
Gidari-Wudil, who admitted that the action is likely to result in severe flooding across some Nigerian states, suggested that the commencement of construction of flood control dams should be a priority, while also calling for the dredging of major rivers to reduce siltation and sedimentation.
The NSE president noted that floods are among the most devastating natural disasters in the world, claiming lives and causing damage to properties and infrastructures and displacements of people in Nigeria every year.
He recalled that after the 2012 flooding incident, several committees were set up by governments at the federal level and the respective states affected by the flood, noting further that the federal government inaugurated a presidential committee on flood disasters in November 2022.
The mandate of the committees, he explained, was to conduct research and develop comprehensive action plans for preventing flood disasters in Nigeria.
”As it stands today, the recommendations of studies conducted by the committees are yet to be fully implemented,” he said.
Gidari-Wudil called on the government to enforce existing policies and initiate legislations to protect the environment from the activities of man, occasioned by industrialisation and urbanisation as well as the climate change.