The Oasis Reporters

News on time, everytime

AfricaAgricultureAnalysisBusiness & EconomyConstructionDiplomatic FrontEnvironmentFoodNews

Flooding: With 603 Dead, 2.5M Displaced, FG Pushes The Blame To Okowa, Other Govs Rather Than Build A Counterpart Dam

The Oasis Reporters

October 18, 2022





Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management

**440,000 hectares of farmland destroyed
***FG calls on states to begin evacuation

In a story filed in by Ademola Adebayo, Nigerians have soberly learnt that so far, the current flooding which has devastated at least 17 states of Nigeria has claimed a staggering 603 lives with 2.5 million displaced and 440,000 hectares of farmland destroyed.

The Nigerian Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Umar Farouq made this chilling statistics known at a media briefing on Sunday in Abuja while enumerating the government’s efforts in mitigating the disaster in the country which she described as overwhelming.



East-West Road, between Port-Harcourt in Rivers State and Ughelli in Delta state, now flooded. (Watch).



Farouq noted that despite concerted efforts to avert the consequences of the 2022 flooding season as forecast by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), many state governments did not prepare for the floods. She said that as a result, the toll of lives lost and property damaged has risen astronomically.

In other words, Minister Farouq was laying the blame firmly and squarely at the doorsteps of people like Governors Ifeanyi Okowa, Charles Soludo, Yahaya Bello, Nyesom Wike, Udom Emmanuel and Duoye Diri of Delta State, Anambra State, Kogi State, Rivers State, Cross River State, Rivers State and Bayelsa state respectively.

Take some blame for this disaster, Governors, From left, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Bala Mohammed (Bauchi); Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Aminu Waziri, Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and a few others’, says the Federal Government that has yet to complete the Dashin Hausa Dam in about 40 years of legendary delays.


Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello relaxing while Lokoja houses are submerged in the flood.

“Unfortunately, over 603 lives have been lost as of October 16, 2022. A total of 1,302,589 persons have been displaced, 2,504.095 persons have been affected, and on the whole, 2,407 persons have been injured, a total of 82,053 houses are completely damaged while 121,318 are partially damaged. 108,392 hectares of farmland were partially destroyed while 332,327 hectares were totally destroyed including many roads and other critical infrastructure.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has therefore warned state governments, local government areas and community leaders especially in Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa states, of the impending floods in the coming weeks and has called on the state governments to begin evacuation of persons living along water channels and other areas obstructing the flow of water.

She further added that “while we mourn the unfortunate boat mishap in Anambra State and other locations, please we must note that we are not completely out of the woods because the Metrological Agencies are warning that states like Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa are still at risk of experiencing floods up till the end of November.


The inspection visit to the Onipepeye Bridge and road construction by Governor Seyi Makinde. He’s doing something worthwhile about flooding in Ibadan…we thank you.

“We are calling on the respective state governments, local government councils and communities to prepare for more flooding by evacuating people living on flood plains to high grounds, provide tents and relief materials, fresh water as well as medical supplies for a possible outbreak of water-borne diseases”.

Irri in Delta State.


People of Irri town in Isoko South LGA woke up on the morning of 11-10-2022 to find their hometown and farms in the flood.

Meanwhile, a high-powered delegation set up by the Ministry is to visit state governors to advocate more commitment to strengthening states’ response mechanisms as stipulated in the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.

Obaseki is not sitting idly by.

The stakeholders are expected to work within their respective mandates to prevent deaths due to flooding or other health-related diseases that may arise.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (2nd from right) and Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq. (right) inspecting the Textile Mill Road catchment of the Benin stormwater project in Benin City, on Monday, February 22, 2021. File photo.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo, is to lead a delegation to Cameroon next month, to discuss the periodic opening of the Lagdo dam with the authorities.


The National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan will soon be implemented for better coordination of flood response protocol, as well as a sectoral approach to flood management at the National and Sub-National levels.


Meanwhile, almost all 36 states and the FCT have received food and non-food items to mitigate various forms of disaster.


The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed, made this known at the briefing.


“Information stating that the federal government’s presence is not in the states affected by the flood is false. We are in every state of the federation. Relief has gone to every state of the federation and we thank the Commander-in-Chief and President Muhammadu Buhari and the Honorable Minister. We will continue to do our best to provide for the country.”


At the briefing was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo, NPOM, Heads of the Agencies and Directors of the Ministry.

Meanwhile, Minister Farooq failed to touch significantly on the cause of the devastating floods that afflict Nigeria from time to time.



The source of the problem is a dam in the heart of Northern Cameroon, and whenever it’s floodgates are open, it causes devastating floods in Nigeria every year.

According to a report by Bayo Wahab, the construction of Lagdo Dam that is located in Northern Cameroon which started in 1977 and was completed five years after in 1982, usually releases it’s water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon and many Nigerian communities along the course of Rivers Niger and Benue do get seriously impacted by the swift flowing floods.


The flooding usually claims many lives and properties in Kogi state, also ravages communities in Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, Anambra, and Nasarawa states before it’s severe fall into the Niger Delta States as well as states in the South East.

In September, the National Emergency Management Agency and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA) informed Nigerians that “the Lagdo Dam operators in the Republic of Cameroon, had commenced the release of excess water from the reservoir on September 13, 2022.”

The agencies said they were “aware that the released water cascades down into Nigeria, through River Benue and its tributaries, thereby overwhelming communities that have already been impacted by heavy rainfall”.

But the flooding affecting Kogi state particularly did not start today. The problem can be traced back to the 80s when the Nigerian government failed to honour an agreement it had with the Cameroonian authorities.

The construction of the Lagdo Dam located in Northern Cameroon which started in 1977 was was completed in 1982.


At inception, Cameroon and Nigeria had an agreement to build two dams such that when water is released from the Cameroonian dam, the Nigerian dam would contain it and prevent it from causing floods.


So, to cushion the effect of possible flooding from the Lagdo dam in Cameroon, the Nigerian government agreed to build a shock-absorber dam tagged Dasin Hausa Dam in Adamawa State.

The Dasin Hausa dam in Nigeria

The Dasin Hausa dam was supposed to be two and a half the size of the Lagdo dam, which was built to supply electricity to the northern part of Cameroon and allow the irrigation of 15,000 hectares of crops downstream.

Like the Lagdo dam, the dam project sited at the Dasin Village of Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State was supposed to generate 300 megawatts of electricity and irrigate about 150,000 hectares of land in Adamawa, Taraba, and Benue states.

But sadly, since 1982, the Nigerian government has yet to complete the building of the Dasin Hausa dam.

As a result, anytime the Cameroonian government releases excess water from the Lagdo dam, communities in Kogi, Benue, and northeastern states get flooded.

According to the spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Manzo Ezekiel, the 2022 flooding is the highest Nigeria has ever had since 2012.

The damages so far in 2022

The flood in Kogi has displaced thousands of Nigerians resident in the Ibaji Local Government Area of the state. The area has completely been submerged for days.

Before the recent and updated figures were given by the minister, about six persons had reportedly died including a toddler and over 600 hectares of rice farmland among several buildings have been destroyed.

Since the opening of the Lagdo dam in September, 3,274 people in Benue state have reportedly been affected while about 1,213 houses are reported to have been destroyed.

In Jigawa, a total of 92 people have died from flooding, while 651,053 persons in six local government areas have been displaced by floods according to the Nigerian Tribune newspaper.

The MoU that solves nothing

Meanwhile, years after its failure to build a dam to address the perennial flooding issue in states and communities along River Benue, the Federal Government of Nigeria has made a futile move to forestall the recurrence of the 2012 devastating floods.

In 2013, Nigeria sent a high-powered delegation to Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital to deliberate with the country’s authorities and to demand a commitment from them on how to address the periodic flooding in Nigeria caused by their Lagdo dam.

At the meeting, Nigeria and Cameroon signed a memorandum of understanding, which entails information sharing between the two countries about rainfall and how to manage the release of excess water without leading to flooding disasters.

It was also agreed that before Cameroon opens its dam, it must issue an early warning to enable Nigeria to put proactive measures in place to prevent the destruction of lives and properties.

It is in compliance with the MoU that the Central African country usually deems it necessary to inform Nigerian authorities about its intention to release excess water from the Lagdo dam.

This arrangement, however, has failed to sufficiently address the flooding issue in Nigeria.

In November 2019, the Director-General, (NIHSA), Engr Clement Nze said the Lagdo dam authorities did not inform Nigeria before they opened the dam which released water for three weeks.


So, rather than completing the construction of the Dasin Hausa dam, which is said to be 90 percent completed -to prevent flooding- the Nigerian Government prefers to annually put Nigerians in Kogi, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Benue, and some states in the northeast on red alert before the water released in Cameroon finds its way to their communities.

With the failure of the Nigerian federal government to do what is best for it’s own people, is there any reason why states like Adamawa, Jigawa, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Rivers, and Cross River can not build a few dams to store the excess water ?

Even if the aforementioned states would have no use for the waters in the stored dams, surely if Nigeria can build a pipeline to transport crude oil from Forcados in Delta State to Kaduna City in Kaduna State, it holds to reason that pipes can also be constructed from the south of Nigeria to drought prone areas in Niger Republic, transporting free (in the first instance) water for farming purposes.

Food crops that Nigeria can buy from them, ensuring prosperity for all in Africa.
So as to enable us all thrive in these challenging times by working together to overcome crises and disaster.

Greg Abolo

Additional reporting:

Bayo Wahab

Ademola Adebayo

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *