The Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority (HJRBDA) has de-silted 58 kilometres of waterways to prevent flooding.
The Managing Director of HJRBDA, Dr Khalid Abdullahi, made this known to newsmen in Kano on Thursday.
He said that the exercise, which was conducted on the main and irrigation canals of the waterways between Tiga Dam and Karfi Irrigation Area, was aimed at clearing 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 its 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.
Besides, Abdullahi said that the river basin authority shut down water channels in the waterways on July 10, as part of its flood-control measures.
He rejected 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 that were hitherto alien to flooding because of the blockage of waterways by residents who dumped refuse into 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 the 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 in order to spur sustainable development in the country.
He, however, warned Nigerians to refrain from dumping garbage in waterways to prevent flooding.