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FG determined to prevent Lake Nyos disaster – Ministers


By Agency Reporter

The Federal Government has reiterated its preparedness to take adequate measures to prevent any disaster posed by the threat of eruption of Lake Nyos in Cameroun.

Three ministers gave the assurance during a joint assessment of the N42.9bn Kashimbilla/Gamovo Buffer Dam project in Taraba State on Saturday

They are ministers of Environment John Odey; Water Resources, Obadiah Ando; and Minister of State for Power, Nuhu Wya.

The project is designed to check the threat of possible flooding of Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Kogi and Cross River, Delta and Akwa Ibom states in the event of the eruption of Lake Nyos.

Ando said the project is “very dear” to President Goodluck Jonathan’s heart, considering its social, economic and environmental implications.

He said, “We had earlier on sent our engineers from the Ministries of Water Resources, Environment and Power to come and assess the work even though we have our consultants on ground.

“After the submission of their report, the permanent secretaries and other officials from the three ministries also visited and submitted their own report.

“As you can see, the three ministers are here; we came to visit Kashimbilla Dam, which is a multipurpose dam, to supply potable water, irrigation and water for hydro-power to Nigerians.

“We have seen the project; we are happy with the job, the phase of the work, the quality of the work and the duration under which the work will be completed.”

Ando said due to the importance of the project, the Federal Government had already paid N14bn to the contractors.

Wya, confirmed the possibility of generating 40MW hydro-power from the dam.

He said when completed, the host community of Kashimbilla, currently in dark, would be electrified.

The minister noted that electricity supply had improved nationwide since the inception of the present administration, adding that the ministry was currently working towards achieving the targeted 6,000MW.

Wya, however, promised that the current power failure being experienced in some parts of the country would soon be over.

Odey said the collapse of the lake would result in flooding down stream, affecting millions of Nigerians, livestock and property.

He added that the danger necessitated the proactive action by the government.

He said the ministry had mapped out areas and installed an early warning equipment at Kashimbilla to alert the communities along the Katsina-Ala River.

He pointed out that the most important component of preparedness was awareness creation, adding that measures were being taken in areas at greatest risk for possible evacuation.

Source: THE PUNCH
Monday, 23 May 2011

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