It was a hectic task for staffs of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) as they moved from camps to camps in Adamawa State, Nigeria to assess and provide relief materials to the victims of excess flooding due to sudden release of water from Cameroon Republic.
The emergency workers were being inundated with gory tales of washed away farmlands, drown children, missing herd of cattle, bites from emigrant snakes, lost valuables, submerged schools and houses. There are also reports of premature deliveries, miscarriages and new born babies delivered in the Internally Displaced People Camps (IDPCs) in Adamawa State.
Five women have so far delivered babies successfully while 57 pregnant women have so been registered in camps, especially in Gwadabawa, Damare, Limawa, Bwaraji, Sanda and Numan. Some of the women would be transferred to hospitals for proper medical attentions.
The Director-General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi who is leading the rescue and relief agencies on the operation has urged other people living within the prone areas to move to designated camps for safety from the surge which might increase if more water is released from Ladgo Dam in Cameroon.
He commended the effort of Adamawa State and other stakeholders, who within 24 hours of receiving warning alert embarked on public announcements and evacuation of people within the areas to be affected to the camps.
Sani-Sidi said “As much as we have to be diplomatic in our approach the reality is that upon receiving the report from the Cameroonian Embassy on the imminent release of water, we alerted relevant authorities. Adamawa State was very proactive in its mobilization and sensitization of people to move away from the prone areas. We have also warned frontline states of Borno, Taraba, Benue and their respective emergency management agencies.”
He added, “If the trend of rainfall experienced this year continues in the next few weeks, more water will be released from the Cameroon reservoir till October 2012. NEMA is looking up to the Federal Government to find a permanent solution to the floods by constructing a dam in the state that will reduce and manage the volume of water released annually from Lagdo Dam in the Republic of Cameroon. Also, there is need for dredging of water channels that link Nigeria with Lagdo Dam.”
He said a team of NEMA officials and their Adamawa counterparts were currently touring the state to assess the extent and impact of damages in the affected communities.