Nigeria is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Cameroon on the management of water from Lagdo Dam in March, an official has said.
Already, Nigeria is considering power generation from the dam, according John Shamonda, the Chairman of the Technical Mission to Cameroon on the issue of Ladgo Dam, who maintained that the hydropower generation from the dam would likely be shared between the two countries.
Shamonda spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
NAN recalls that the committee had visited Cameroon last December to discuss modalities for the management of water resources in the Benue Basin.
NAN learnt that unregulated water released from Ladgo Dam located 50km south of the City of Garoua on the Benue River, caused the flooding in Nigeria in September 2012.
Shamonda said that following the visit, the committee had strengthened collaboration between the two countries at the expert level.
“That mission opened a way to further to develop the Memorandum of Understanding with the Cameroonian Government.
“Nigeria has already developed a draft for that MoU and that draft is going to be sent to Cameroon to look at so that at a meeting scheduled to hold in March, our Honourable Minister and her counterpart in Cameroon will sign that MoU.
“It will be a legal framework for sharing data and information on the hydrological situation, parameters of the Benue Basin.
“Benue Basin is shared between Nigeria and Cameroon and when we are talking of Benue Basin, we are talking in particular with respect to the flow of River Benue and Lagdo Dam.”
Shamonda, who is also the Executive Director of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), said that Nigeria was looking into constructing the Dasin Hausa Dam in Adamawa, to control flooding in seven states.
NAN learnt that Nigeria had in 1978 planned to construct a dam at Dasin Hausa in Adamawa, before Cameroon constructed the Ladgo Dam.
The Dasin Hausa Dam was to serve as a buffer dam to curtail any water released from Ladgo Dam built by Cameroon in 1982.
It is expected that the construction of the dam would control flooding in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Kogi States and up to Anambra, Delta and Bayelsa States.
Shamonda said that the Federal Government had given the project prominent attention following the 2012 flood disaster, to prevent a recurrence.
He recalled that the construction of the dam was also discussed during the visit to Cameroon, describing it as a welcome project by Cameroon because of its benefits to the two countries.
“If that dam is going to have hydro power generation as part of additional benefit, the hydropower generation from the dam is going to be shared between Nigeria and Cameroon just like Niger is benefitting from the hydro power from Kainji in Nigeria.
“So, that sharing of the benefits from that Dasin Hausa Dam will even strengthen the relationship — the hydrological, the water resources and the social economic development within that region.
“There will be more collaboration for social and economic development; the management will be done along with the flow of water from Lagdo because it is the dam that will be supplying water.
“The two countries will continue to operate together; just like Kainji and Jebba, Jebba can never be flooded because Kainji Dam is there to control flow that is going into Jebba so it is the same pattern that we will operate between Ladgo Dam and Dasin Hausa Dam.”
NAN gathered that the Dasin Hausa Dam can generate 150,000 mega watts with the latest technology in dams’ construction as against 400 mega watts in the original design.
In addition to the hydropower benefit, the dam is expected to irrigate 200, 000 hectares in Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Kogi States.