Tuesday, 28 August 2012

15 bodies recovered from River Benue

Corpses of 15 persons swept away by flood, which followed heavy rains and unexpected release of water from Lagdo Dam in the Republic of Cameroon, have been recovered from River Benue in Adamawa State.

Daily Sun gathered that relations of victims recruited divers to help fish out the bodies from the river.

The Adamawa State Government yesterday described the disaster as unprecedented because the Cameroonian government belatedly informed the state government about the planned release of the water.

Addressing newsmen yesterday, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Ari Kobis Thimnu, disclosed that the release of the water from the dam happened on Tuesday last week, but the letter informing the Adamawa State Government on the planned release of water was received on Friday, August 24, 2012.

Thimnu disclosed that from records with the government, the riverine areas of Adamawa experienced such disaster in 1958, which claimed many lives, with several homes and farmlands destroyed by the flood.

According to Thimnu, a flood disaster team has been constituted to know the extent of damage.

He disclosed that heads of service of the affected local government areas had been called upon to assist in providing useful information for the purpose of giving palliative assistance to the victims in that respect.

Thimnu recalled there was a bilateral agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Cameroonian Government in the event of waters being released from the dam in Cameroon.

According to him, because of the enormous consequences of the flood disaster, the Adamawa State Government had written to the Nigerian ambassador to Cameroon and the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the letter from the Cameroonian Government was belated and that Adamawa citizens were facing hardship occasioned by the release of the waters.

As a measure to alleviate the situation, the secretary to the state government said the people living on the river banks or in the lowlands had been told to relocate to the highlands to avoid further disaster.

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