FG sets up mechanism to control poisonous gas from Lake Nyos



The federal government has put in place measures to control the threat of poisonous gas and flooding that may likely occur as a result of eruption from the weak volcanic Lake Nyos located along the line of volcanic activities in Cameroun.

The Minister of Water Resources Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe in a statement signed by the head of press Mrs Boade Akinola and made available to Blueprint yesterday, revealed this after inspecting the Kashimbila multipurpose Dam site.

She said in anticipation of the environmental disaster that may accompany the breakdown of the lake Nyos in Cameroun which may push the poisonous water to States such as Taraba, Benue, Cross River, Kogi and Delta, the FG has embarked on construction of buffer dam that would accommodate the poisonous water.

The Dam she said is located at between Kashimbila and Gomovo town on River Katsina-Ala, Takum Local Government Taraba State close to the country’s border with Cameroun.

It should be recalled that in August 1986 there was eruption of lake Nyos in Cameroun which released poisonous gas and causes extensive flooding resulting in the death of about 1,700 people, 4,000 herds of cattle 330 sheep and thousands of other livestock in the villages of Cham, Nyos and Subum just downstream of the lake. Since then there had been some international intervention and supportive efforts to the Camerounian Government to de-gas the Lake.

The Minister said “the Idea of the Dam came about as a result of response by the Nigerian Government to the likely environmental challenges that we might encounter if the Lake Nyos in Cameroun breaks. The Lake is at a terrible stage and that it breaks it would cause a lot of disaster to Nigerians, so the Nigerian Government is building this Dam to contain the excess water that would be released in the event of the lake eventually breaks down

Ochekpe further said that the Kashimbila multipurpose Dam had an Airstrip, constructed to facilitate the evacuation of people who are leaving in the area to a safety place if the lake eventually breaks before the Dam is completed. and if completed the airstrip will save as an added infrastructure to support economic activities in the Dam.

She said “I will like Nigerians to know that when President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan assumed office, the project was about 10 per cent completion but today as we are standing here the Dam is about 75 per cent completion and the President has made available sufficient fund to complete the project”.

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