On Sunday, the agency in charge of two dams in northern Nigeria denied that the opening of flood gates had caused major flooding that officials say has displaced some two million people.
“This is not the issue at all,” said Salisu B. Hamzat, spokesman for the Hadejia-Jama’are River Basin Development Authority.”This year we have had heavy rainfall almost everywhere in the country. This is actually what caused the flooding.”
Officials in Jigawa state say some two million people have been displaced in flooding caused by the opening of two dams last month.The displacements have added to flood misery in northern Nigeria that has already washed away entire villages this rainy season.
Hamzat said the dams, located in neighbouring Kano state, are never manually opened and simply empty into a spillway once the reservoir fills.
The larger of the two dams, the Tiga dam, has not spilled over this year, according to Hamzat.
He said the smaller dam, the Challawa, has spilled over, but the amount involved would not be nearly enough to cause the flooding that has occurred in Jigawa.
Two people were killed in the initial stages of the flooding in Jigawa state, a Red Cross official has said.
A range of states in northern Nigeria have seen major flooding this year.
In Sokoto state in the country’s northwestern corner, local chiefs told workers from aid organisations that around 40 people were killed when a dam burst earlier this month, but the number could not be confirmed.