From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, is expected to flag-off the renovation of Watari Dam, in Bagwai Local Government Area of the state, in November, 2020.
The project will be carried out by Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project, (KSADP), a project mainly financed by the Islamic Development Bank, the lives and Livelihoods Fund, (LLF) and Kano state government.
The state Project Coordinator, of KSADP, Malam Ibrahim Garba Muhammad made this known during stakeholder engagements with the District of Bagwai, Madakin Bichi, Alhaji Nura Shehu Ahmed, the Vice Chairman of Bagwai Local Government council and representatives of various farmers associations in the area.
He regretted that the Dam, constructed about 40 years ago for irrigation and flood control has not undergone any major repairs despite the erosion and siltation threatening its embankment, canals and reservoir.
“We have already selected a contractor for the repairs works and our target is to provide sustainable irrigation infrastructure enough for increased production of variety of farm products in the rural communities around this area, in order to curtail rural-urban drift, poverty and unemployment, ” he added.
Malam Ibrahim stated that the KSADP planned to expand the Watari Irrigation Scheme with an additional 1, 000 hectares, lamenting that of the existing 962 hectares, about 150 hectares have been washed away.
According to him, “I am glad to inform you that a consultant has been engaged to design and supervise the provision of additional 1,000 hectares of irrigable land at the downstream of the dam and with this development, there will be extensive rice, maize and vegetables production in the domain. ”
He revealed further that the KSADP will construct a cooperative grain storage facility (aggregation center) in the area in order to improve the value of crops produced by farmers.
Malam Ibrahim, therefore, appealed to farmers and other stakeholders in the domain to extend the necessary cooperation that would result in not only speedy but also successful completion of the project, in view of its importance to their socio-economic well being.
In their seperate remarks, the District of Bagwai, Madakin Bichi, Alhaji Nura Shehu Ahmed, the Vice Chairman of Bagwai Local Government Council, Alhaji Aminu Ibrahim Gogori, promised maximum support, to ensure that the work was carried out successfully.
The representatives of the farmers who expressed appreciation to the state government for the intervention, sought to know among other things, the scope of work, its timeline and which component of the work would commence first, so as not to disrupt their dry season farming.