Friday, April 18, 2014

Nigeria to develop MOU with Cameroon on Ladgo dam-official

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Federal Ministry of Water Resources said Nigeria wants to develop MOU with Cameroon over flooding caused by Lagdo dam.

Nigeria is prepared to develop a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with Cameroon on the management of water from Ladgo dam, an official said on Wednesday.

The official at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources said in Abuja that a Technical Mission to Cameroon on the issue of Ladgo dam would visit the country between Thursday and Friday to discuss modalities for managing water resources.

The unregulated water released from Ladgo dam located 50km South of the city of Garoua on the Benue River caused huge flooding in Nigeria in September.

The official said the visit would create an avenue for the two countries to discuss how the water resources of the Benue basin should be managed in a sustainable and less disastrous manner.

“What informed the decision to visit Cameroon is as a result of the September floods. One of the causes of the floods apart from excessive rainfall was the unregulated release of water from Ladgo dam.

“What we are going to do with the visit is to establish a bilateral cooperation that will lead to sustainable management of water resources of the Benue Basin,” the official said.

He said the mission was going to Cameroon in preparation for the rainy season “so that people will not say that Nigeria is not prepared in case of any re-occurrence of floods.”

“We are going there with a draft copy of MOU on how to achieve sustainable management of the water resources,’’ the official said.

The official said Cameroon has set up a team of experts which has also prepared an MOU for the same purpose.

The official said the MOUs from the two countries would be presented at the meeting, adding that if the parties agreed on the issues raised, it would be signed.

In addition, the official said the visit would also provide an avenue to discuss possible collaboration on the safety and management of Lake Nyos.

Lake Nyos lies close to the axis of the Cameroon volcanic line, which extends 1,500km from the Gulf of Guinea through South-Western Cameroon and into Northern Nigeria and Northern Cameroon.

The UN Environment Programme and Office of the Human Affairs commissioned a study on the lake in September 2005 and the findings indicated that Lake Nyos might collapse within five to 10 years.

The imminent collapse of the lake will send over 30 million cubic metres, MCM, of water into Katsina Ala River in Nigeria all the way down through Benue and Niger River systems.

However, the Federal Government has commenced the construction of Kasmbilla dam, designed to serve as a buffer dam to avert the danger posed by Lake Nyos in Cameroon.

The dam project located in Taraba, is expected to be completed in 2013.

NAN

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