Flooding: Jigawa govt commences dredging of Hadejia river

THE Jigawa State Government said it has purchased two dredging machines and also commenced the dredging of Hadejia River to clear the waterway and prevent overflowing of water. 

This development was initiated to prevent future occurrence of flood, after the state experienced severe flooding last year.

The Executive Secretary of Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency, Yusuf Sani Babura confirmed this while responding to some of The ICIR’s findings on Jigawa state flood preparedness projects. 

The ICIR in an investigation published on June 26, detailed what Jigawa State government is doing to mitigate flooding and also highlighted some of the challenges faced by residents of the flood prone communities. 

According to the investigation, the onset of the rainy season in Jigawa evoked feelings of anxiety and sorrow among residents after the state faced one of the most devastating floods it had experienced in years.

However, despite the magnitude of destruction witnessed, most residents have returned back to their communities.

Reacting to the the impact of flood, Babura said the government is working day and night dredging the river to remove the grasses blocking the waterways.

Babura accused the residents of refusing to move to high lands despite financial support from the state government.

“When it comes to politics, people don’t always react to what the government is saying. Even land has been provided to them at the upper land, and money was given to them to go and construct houses and transfer from the former one, but unfortunately, most of them do not want to cooperate with the government. Some of them have moved while some of them refuse, and that’s the problem we are facing.”

Also, the Director of Flood and Erosion Control, Jigawa state ministry of Environment, Ado Yusuf explained that the state is battling river and coastal flooding.

According to him, one of the factors that caused destructive flooding in 2022 was that the water in the dam was not released for irrigation purposes, which later led to an excessive increase in the volume of water in the dam during the rainy season.

“To avoid what happened last year. We have started talking to them, and they have started releasing the water at about 20cm cube per second, and we are still talking to them to increase it to 80cm cube per second so that the water would not come out like last year.”

Yusuf further explained that the state government has formed a flood mitigation committee that is working to identify high grounds where citizens will be relocated if there’s a recurrent of previous year’s flood. 

He also said the government is ensuring effective control of the diversion of the water channels by the construction of dykes, adding that it will make provision to open water from the dam when they want to use it for irrigation and close it back after use.

He stated that a significant factor contributing to the flooding last year was the absence of adequate drainage systems and the inadequate maintenance of existing ones by citizens, resulting in hindered water flow during rainfall.






     

     

    He urged residents living on the shore of rivers to refrain from farming along the banks of rivers, noting that the practice disrupts the natural flow of water, often resulting in flooding.

    Also reacting to The ICIR findings, the Coordinator Kano and Jigawa Territorial Office, National Emergency Management Agency, Nurudeen Abdullahi, explained that the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency has produced the annual flood outlook, which shows that there is a possibility of a high amount of rainfall this year, which may lead to flooding in some parts of the country. 

    According to him, the agency released names of local government areas that may face the risk of flooding this year and outlined the mitigation plans and strategies for the state government agencies to protect the lives and properties from impending floods.

    “So, that was part of what we discussed during our meetings and engagements. How to identify safer grounds, because a lot of people have gone back to that place.”

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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