Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority (HJRBDA), has de-silted 58 kilometres of its waterways to prevent flooding.
HJRBDA Managing Director, Dr Khalid Abdullahi, said this while speaking with newsmen on Thursday, in Kano.
Abdullahi said that the exercise was conducted on the main and irrigation canals of the waterways between Tiga Dam and Karfi Irrigation area, to clear weeds and blocked waterways to ease flow of water and prevent flooding.
“It is the biggest de-silting exercise conducted in the last 25-years, it will help control flooding in Bauchi, Kano and Jigawa.
“We plan to procure de-silting equipment to enhance weeds clearing. It is part of measures adopted to ensure easy passage of water in the river and canals to address perennial flooding.
“The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Sabo Nanono has approved the purchase of de-silting equipment to clear the weeds and sand blocking the river,” he said.
According to him, the agency shut down water channels in the waterways on July 10, as part of flood control measures.
Abdullahi faulted claims that the release of excess water from dams by the agency caused the recent flooding in Kano and Jigawa.
He noted that the flood was recorded in areas alien to the disaster, and attributed it to the blockage of waterways by residents who dumped refuse on water canals.
On irrigable land development project, Abdullahi said that the agency had developed about 16, 000 out of the projected 22,500 hectares of land for irrigation use in Kano State.
“Under the Kano Irrigation Project (KRIP), we have Kano East and Kano West scheme. The Kano East scheme covers Bunkunre, while the Kano West is being implemented in Kura.
“Only 16, 000 out of the proposed 22,500 hectares of irrigable land was developed under the KRIP project designed with canals to supply water to farmlands.
“We have also de-silted and reclaimed 2,000 out of the 5,000 hectares of land where farmers could not access water in spite of construction of canals due to blockage of waterways,” he said.
Abdullahi added that HJRBDA equally developed about 7,000 hectares of land under the Hadejia Phase I, Stage I project between Hadeji-Gololo-Katagum.
According to him, the agency is working in partnership with Transforming Irrigation Project in Nigeria (Triming), to develop more land, clear blocked channels and provide more water canals to encourage irrigation farming.
Abdullahi called for more private sector investment to reinvigorate agriculture towards sustainable development in the country.
The managing director cautioned Nigerians against dumping of refuse on waterways to prevent flooding.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that HJRBDA was created in 1986 along side 10 other River Development Authorities by the civilian administration of late President Shehu Shagari with a mandate to develop about 240,000 hectares of irrigable land.
It areas of operation covers rivers, dams and water bodies like Hadejia River, Komodugu River and Tiga Dam, cutting across Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa and Yobe.(NAN)