Nigeria Dam

Officials in Jigawa in northern Nigeria stated that the Hadejia-Jama'are River Basin Development Authority opened the Tiga and Challawa dams (below) to prevent overflowing following heavy rainfall in 2010, affecting close to two million people who were displaced with close to a quarter of a million acres of farmland being destroyed. Already the area had been badly affected by flooding after dams burst, with some villages covered in water up to the roofs of houses there. Up to forty deaths were reported.

Nigeria Dam FloodsWhilst flooding of the low lying plains are common at that time of year, the devastation caused by the opening of the dams on this occasion had been significant and, ironically, fresh clean water supplies were then in serious short supply. Some of the blame was being placed on a  failure to remove the silt that has been building up at the reservoir created by the Challawa dam and in the Challawa river itself.

If this silt had been removed, it had been argued, the flooding would not have been required. The dam itself has been subject to controversy, causing flooding both up and down stream at regular intervals whilst simultaneously drying out wetlands. 

Lagdo DamA recent evaluation of the dam project concluded that it had had no beneficial economic effects at all once the impact on the wetland downstream of the river had been taken into account. However the agency that manages the dams stated that the flooding was nothing to do with the dams.

"This year we have had heavy rainfall almost everywhere in the country. This is actually what caused the flooding." The spokesman went onto state that the heavy rainfall had simply filled the dams and the excess water had flowed out into the surrounding area. Whatever the truth, the flooding only added to the woes of northern Nigeria which had already seen entire villages swept away during the rainy season.

Nigeria Floods: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license2012 saw yet more flooding in the north of the country with thousands being effected especially in flood prone areas. In Kogi State alone four hundred communities found themselves submerged by water with the added menace of crocodiles and hippos being caught up in the floods and entering the homes of those who had tried to stay behind.

The situation was exacerbated by authorities in Cameroon opening the Lagdo Dam (above) following excessive rainfall which led to the flooding of settlements in Adamawa State in north-east Nigeria as the Benue River, downstream from the dam, broke its banks as it flowed towards the River Niger. Whilst Cameroon notified their counterparts in Nigeria of the action to be taken, the area wasn't evacuated leaving three dead and thousands displaced as the water raged through homes and villages.


Nigeria Floods

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Nigeria Dam

Nigeria Dam

Nigeria Dam

Nigeria Dam


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Nigeria Dam Flooding

Nigeria Dam Flooding

In 2012 officials in Jigawa state in northern Nigeria again opened both the Tiga and Challawa dams causing widespread flooding displacing millions. This now seems to be part of an annual cycle regardless of the chaos that ensues.


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