Many lives were lost and property worth billions of naira destroyed in 2012 due to the combined effects of flood waters from Lagdo Dam in the Republic Cameroon and heavy rainfall recorded that year.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that Nigeria lost N2.6 trillion to floods that year which could have been averted if the government had constructed buffer dams to hold flood waters.
At a recent National Water Conference in Calabar, experts advocated for the construction of dams at strategic locations to check flooding.
They said with about 13 dams spread across the six geo-political zones of the country, more dams were still needed in the country.
Mr Otis Anyaeji, an expert, stressed that Nigeria still required more dams especially in Lokoja and Onitsha to control floods.
Anyaeji, who is the Vice President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), urged the Federal Government to construct more dams, and properly fund its water agencies.
He noted that the construction of more dams would not only avert flood disasters, but provide water for irrigation.
Prof. Paul Marley, Managing Director, Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority, said Nigeria loses 200 billion cubic metres of water to the Atlantic Ocean annually.
He said that the nation was able to store 34 billion cubic metres of water, adding that effort need to be made and sustained to impound more water through dam construction.
“If these waters were not impounded during its passage and allowed to get to the ocean, it would become salt water and no longer fresh; which is not healthy.
“In the year 2030, population would increase to 258 million and the demand for water will increase 17 times than it is now,” he said.
Stakeholders want the government to commence the construction work on the proposed Dasin Hausa Dam in Adamawa.
The federal government was expected to have constructed the dam when its Cameroonian counterpart built the Lagdo Dam in 1982.
The two dams would have acted as safety valves to control flooding and impound water for irrigation, hydropower generation and fishery, among others.
The Dasin Hausa Dam, was also expected to serve as a buffer dam to curtail any water released from Ladgo Dam.
Dr Emmanuel Adanu, Director Dams and Reservoir Operations, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, said plans were on ground to commence work on the dam, adding that the procurement department had already commenced work on the project.
According to him, the ministry had written to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), adding, “they are responding positively because they believe the dam will curb flooding in the country’’.
Adanu also said there were proposals before the federal government on the construction of more dams in the country, pointing out that the dams would effectively check the recurrence of floods.
Available records show that over 30 dams are currently being constructed, while some of them had already been completed and ready for inauguration.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, in her 2013 mid -term report said that the water sector recorded 422 million cubic metres increase in the volume of stored water in the nation’s reservoirs following the completion of nine dams.
The completed dams, according to her, are Ibiono Ibom Dam, in Akwa Ibom; Sulma Dam, Katsina; Mgbowo Dam, Enugu; Owena Dam Treatment Plant, Ondo; Dutsi Dam in Katsina; Inyishi Dam in Imo; Mashi Dam in Katsina; Amauzari Dam, Imo; and Galma Multipurpose Dam in Kaduna.
Observers have noted that since the importance of dams are well known, government should fast-track the completion of the remaining dam projects across the country. (NANFeatures)
By y Kate Obande, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)