Barely 48 hours after the deadly flood said to be the worst in over 50 years that hit Adamawa, Niger and Katsina States respectively as a result of excess water the Ladgo Dam in the Republic of Cameroon, claiming over 15 lives, governors of the frontline states of the North-East have been told to be on the alert as indications are strong that more water will be released from the reservoir till October 2012.
The Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, who raised the alarm, expressed regret that the sudden release of water from the reservoir had inundated the lowland communities of north eastern Nigeria.
He disclosed that a report obtained from the High Commission of the Republic of Cameroon indicated that if the trend of heavy rainfall experienced this year continues in the next few weeks, more water would be released from the reservoir up until October this year.
The NEMA boss further lamented that the disastrous flood had not only disrupted socio-economic activities in the affected areas but also threatened human lives, and led to large-scale ecological dislocation.
Sidi revealed that, on receipt of the warning threat of the looming flood on August 23, 2012, governors of the frontline States of Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and their respective State Emergency Management Agencies, SEMAs were alerted and asked to relocate communities at risk to safer grounds.
Sidi wondered why Nigerians chose to be reactive, and explained that the zonal coordinators for the North-East and North Central offices of his agency had also been directed to liaise with relevant stakeholders and the state SEMAs to sustain public sensitisation on the dangers of the floods and the need to take necessary proactive measures to protect human lives and properties.
He also disclosed that the North East Zonal Office of the Agency was on the ground and working assiduously with the respective SEMAs to compile assessment reports, establish Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, and provide necessary relief materials and first aid in collaboration with local humanitarian partners.
While commiserating with families of the over 15 victims who lost their lives to the flood, he said NEMA had concluded plans to join relevant authorities for the rehabilitation of the affected communities.
This is even as he expressed the country's appreciation of the friendly disposition of the Cameroonian Embassy in Nigeria for the timely alert on the impending floods. "Such typical African solidarity and benign neighbourliness is exemplary and worthy of emulation", he posited.