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Kwara seeks Federal Government’s special intervention to tackle flood

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Director, Personnel Finance and Supply, Kwara State Ministry of Environment, Hajia Yakubu Medinat (left); Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Isiaka Al-Amin; and Chief Press Secretary to Kwara State Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, during a press briefing on flooding in the State…yesterday.<br />

Kwara State government has urged the Federal Government to give special consideration to the state due to ecological challenges confronting it, especially the perennial flooding arising from the overflow of the Rivers Niger and Asa.

“People of Kwara State have suffered greatly from ecological problems linked to yearly overflowing of these rivers, and it is only fair for the state to be considered for special palliatives to fix damaged infrastructure and economic lives of our people and mitigate the effect on the affected communities,” Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Isiaka Al-Amin, said at a news briefing in Ilorin yesterday.

The briefing followed a sensitisation tour of flood-prone areas in the state by a committee set up by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, chaired by Al-Amin, to lessen the impact of flooding in the state.

According to Al-Amin, the yearly overflow of the River Niger has cut off communities, destroyed farmlands and displaced thousands of people across the state.

Besides, he canvassed urgent completion of the channelisation of the Asa River to curtail the yearly flooding in the state, especially in Kwara Central.

Meanwhile, the Katsina State government is to expend more than N136 million to relocate and compensate communities living around the Jare Earth Dam site in Bakori Council.

The dam, a Federal Government project, was started in November 2006 and had reached 40 per cent completion level before it was reportedly abandoned.

Initially, little over N3 billion was slated as construction cost, but the amount was increased to N11 billion last year by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), due to work deterioration, variance in exchange rate and increase in the cost of materials.

When completed, the dam is expected to boost water supply and irrigation farming for immediate and neighbouring communities.

Special Adviser to the governor on Agriculture, Dr. Abba Abdullah, heads the committee, with representatives of security agencies, ministries and traditional rulers from affected communities as members.

Yakubu said the project, which commenced 13 years ago, was abandoned due to complaints of underpayment by the Federal Government to beneficiaries.

He said following the complaints, the state government set up a committee in January 2017 to look into the matter.

Responding on behalf of the affected communities, the district head of Bakori, Alhaji Idris Sule, commended state government’s effort at reviewing the compensation, which he said gladdened the hearts many of those affected.


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