Friday, June 9, 2023

God responsible for floods across Nigeria, not Cameroon: Water Resources minister Adamu

“But it is not the main reason we have floods in this country — 80 per cent of the floods in this country is water that we are blessed with from God from the sky,” he said.

• October 20, 2022
Suleiman Adamu
Suleiman Adamu

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said that God is responsible for floods that have submerged various parts of the country, plunging communities into unparalleled devastation for the third week continued. 

Speaking at his ministry’s budget defence conference on Wednesday, Mr Adamu said rainfall constitutes 80 per cent of the flood crisis across the country and not the Lagdo dam in Cameroon as insinuated by some quarters. 

“All these stories I’ve been seeing on social media, I just laugh because they are misleading. The contribution of the Lagdo dam to flooding in this country is only one per cent. Sometimes they release the water without notice and when they do that, it has an impact on communities downstream.

“But it is not the main reason we have floods in this country — 80 per cent of the floods in this country is water that we are blessed with from God from the sky,” he said. 

Although Mr Adamu said that Cameroonian authorities have not been entirely honest with the Nigerian side on the opening of the dam and release of water, he maintains that Cameroon cannot be blamed for the flood and that there is no feasible end in sight to the crisis. 

“This year’s flood, I can assure you, we cannot blame it on Cameroon, to be sincere. We’ll continue to have floods on the river Niger and Benue basins. We signed the MOU with the Cameroonian authorities, but since then, every year, it is the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) that calls them, ‘what is your level in Lagdo?’ “Even this one when he called them, I was communicating with the DG NIHSA, I said, ‘what’s happening in Cameroon?’ He said he has been calling them, and they said they had not released any water, but they said they would inform us. Finally, they said they would inform us tomorrow, they didn’t inform us; they informed us 24 hours after they had released the water.

“They did the same thing two years ago, I wrote to the minister of foreign affairs, and Nigeria had to write a protest letter to the Cameroonian authorities that they did not inform us. It was after our rains had gone down, suddenly we saw floods in Adamawa area, and we were asking them. For two weeks, they were denying that they had opened the reservoir. Of course, it didn’t go to the confluence, it was limited to the areas of Adamawa state and Taraba. Because, as I said, the contribution to the flood by Lagdo dam is not so high.”

According to figures released by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), more than two million people have been affected by the flood, with over 500 deaths. Several communities have also been cut off from trade and food supply due to a lack of access to their communities. 

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