Makurdi –  The Federal Government has reiterated its preparedness to take adequate measures to prevent any disaster posed by the threat of eruption of Lake Nyos in Cameroon.

Three ministers gave the assurance during a joint assessment of the N42.9 billion Kashimbilla/Gamovo Buffer Dam project in Taraba State on Saturday

They are Ministers of Environment John Odey, Obadiah Ando of Water Resources and Minister of state Nuhu Wya of Power.

The project is designed to check the threat of possible flooding  of Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Kogi and Cross River, Delta  and Akwa Ibom states in the event of the eruption of Lake Nyos.

Ando said that the project is “very dear” to President Goodluck Jonathan’s heart, considering its social, economic and environmental implications.

“We had earlier on sent our engineers from the Ministries of Water Resources, Environment and Power to come and assess the work even though we have our consultants on ground.

“After the submission of their report, the  permanent secretaries and other officials from the three ministries also visited and submitted  their own report.

“As you can see, the three ministers are here; we came to visit Kashimbilla Dam, which is a multipurpose dam, to supply potable water, irrigation and water for hydro-power to Nigerians.

“We have seen the project; we are happy with the job, the phase of the work, the quality of the work and the duration under which the work will be completed,” he explained.

Ando said that due to the importance of the project, the Federal Government had already paid  N14 billion to the contractors.

In his remarks, Wya, confirmed the possibility of generating  40MW  hydro-power from the dam.

He said that when completed the host community  of Kashimbilla, currently in dark, would be electrified.

The minister noted that electricity supply had improved nationwide since the inception of the present administration, adding that the ministry was currently working towards achieving the targeted 6,000MW.

Way however, promised that the current power failure being experienced in some parts of the country would soon be over.

Also commenting, Odey said that the collapse of the lake would result in flooding down stream, affecting millions of Nigerians, livestock and property, adding that the danger necessitated the proactive action by the government.

He said that the ministry had mapped out areas and installed an early warning equipment at Kashimbilla to alert the communities along the Katsina-Ala River.

He pointed out that the most important component of preparedness was awareness creation, adding that, measures were being taken in areas at greatest risk for possible evacuation.

On the increased of flooding being experienced every rainy season in most parts of the country,  Odey attributed the development to the construction of buildings and farming along river sides.

The minister therefore advised rural communities to desist from doing so to reduce the economic, social and environmental damage caused by the flood.

Also speaking,  Mr Jonah Agbu, the Secretary to the Taraba State Government, expressed happiness over the immediate intervention of the Federal Government ahead of the possible break up of Nyos

Agbu said that the state government, on its part,  is working toward relocating the affected communities to a safer place, in addition to the installation of a warning alert in case of any danger.

Meanwhile, Mr Levy Uval, the General Manager of SCC Nigeria Ltd, the contractors handing the project, said that the project was currently at 30 per cent completion  and gave assurance that it would be completed within 24 months.

The  project is aimed at mitigating the environmental disaster the lake poses to Nigeria (NAN).

The dam, when completed, would supply about 66,000 cubic metres of water daily to several communities for domestic and industrial use to about 400,000 people, in addition to irrigational activities covering 2,000 hectares.

The dam, with a reservoir capacity of 500 million cubic metres of water, has 35m height, 1,585m length, 150m width. (NAN)


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