More than 500 communities in Benue state are now at risk of being washed out by flood as Cameroonian authority have started releasing water from Lagdo dam. This is coming on the heels of rising levels of River Benue, according to an announcement by the Benue state government.
The warning has heightened fears particularly among the inhabitants of five local government areas of Makurdi, Guma, Agatu, Gwer West and Logo who suffered adversely as a result of the flood last year.
Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Agency (SEMA), Adikpo Agbatse who conveyed the message on behalf of the government on the State owned Radio broadcasting station today said the Cameroon authority would release water from the dam this morning.
Agbatse therefore enjoined the people in vulnerable areas to be on the watch out when the volume of water on River Benue begin to rise so that they can move to higher ground for safety of their lives and properties.
Meanwhile, people living in flood prone vicinity in Makurdi have called on the state government to urgently create a camp to accommodate them instead of waiting until the water begin to chase them from their abodes.
Some residents spoke to our correspondent who went around worst hit areas in last year flooding along Gyado villa, Wurukum and Wadata wants government to act immediately.
"We heard on radio this morning that the flood would begin any moment from now and we are really scared. What will happen to our children still in academic session and where do we go from here.
"Government should quickly come to our aid by providing an alternative camp as they promised us last year instead of waiting for the fire brigade approach".
In the meantime, SEMA's Agbatse in a telephone conversation said that the Cameroon authority alert to the affected states that it would release more water from Lagdo dam today having released one penultimate Thursday was to prepare the people against any sudden eventualities.
"The announcement we made was necessary to alert our people in the event they see rise in volume of water on river Benue, especially as it has been raining heavily in the last few days, there is need to take precautionary measure to forestall any ugly occurrence.
"This is not the first one, they released water on 20th of this month, another one, according to them (Cameroon) will be released this morning, I think they are releasing bit by bit as against the manner they released water last year which wreak serious havoc".