Home News FG commissions 1.2km hydraulic drainage in Benue

FG commissions 1.2km hydraulic drainage in Benue

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The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utserv, on Thursday, said the Federal Government would soon construct dams across the country to mitigate the devastating effects of flooding.

The minister disclosed this during the inauguration and handover of the 1.2km Idye River Basin erosion control/hydraulic drainage project in Makurdi, Benue State capital.

The project was handled by the National Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission.

Utserv, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, said, “Water is life; that is why in the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, we are building dams across the country and Benue is not left out.

“We are also providing water infrastructure across  Nigeria and the President is building a Nigeria where everyone is involved”.

Akume noted that the inaugurated dam represented an important step towards taming the challenge of flood in the Makurdi metropolis.

The SGF acknowledged N-HYPPADEC’s dedication to reversing environmental degradation and promoting sustainable community development in Nigeria’s power-producing areas.

He stated that the objective of the agency was in alignment with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision of an industrialised and developed country where the nation’s hydropower dams could generate adequate electricity without compromising the living standards of the local populations inhabiting the power-producing areas.

“This flood control project, which we are here to inaugurate today, is only one of the early steps taken by the commission towards reversing ecological degradation and promoting sustainable developments in riverine communities across the country”, the SGF said.

Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of N-HYPPADEC, Abubakar Yelwa, decried the devastating effects of flooding, saying 18,349 houses and farmlands were destroyed while a total of 134,797 people were displaced in 2022.

He said, “For years, the residents of Makurdi and other parts of Benue State have endured annual flooding that has consumed thousands of homes and farmlands, displacing numerous families.

“The 2022 Benue floods were even more tragic. In 2022, the Benue State Emergency Management Agency reported that the floods consumed about 18,349 houses and farmlands, displacing a total of 134,797 people.

“This staggering impact shows the urgent need to take decisive action to safeguard the communities and the livelihoods of people in the state.

“Successive governments at both federal and state levels have made frantic efforts to manage this crisis and mitigate its impact on the people and the environment”.

The MD said the Federal Government spent about N1.2 billion on the project.

Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, regretted that the geographical location and climate condition of the state make Benue susceptible to seasonal flooding and erosion.

Represented by the deputy governor,  Sam Ode, the governor said, “These environmental challenges threaten not only our agricultural productivity but also the safety and livelihoods of our people.

“In this context, the Idye flood control/dyke project is not just a necessity but a beacon of hope for our countries”.

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