The Komadugu-Yobe Basin Development Initiative has identified “typha” grass as a major cause of flooding in Marma, Zagari and Gubusun communities located along the stretch of Hadejia River in Kirikasamma Local Government Area of Jigawa.
Its chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Birniwa, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Marma.
The NGO, whose objectives include finding solutions to the problems of wetland areas, operates in Yobe, Jigawa and Bauchi states.
According to Birniwa, manual removal of the grass that usually blocks part of the river in the area was the only option left, following the suspension of dredging activities in the area by the Chad Basin Development Authority.
“Now that the agency has suspended dredging of the Hadejia River, the only way to prevent a repeat of the 2018 devastating flood in these areas is to remove the grass manually using farm implements.
“The dredging began at Gabarwa in Yobe in 2018. As soon as the machines arrived Marma, water levels became high, forcing the engineers to suspend operation to avoid damaging the heavy equipment,” Birniwa said.
The chairman said the NGO in collaboration with the council and the District Head of Marma, Alhaji Haruna Adamu, have mobilised over 3,000 youths in Marma, Zagari and Gubusun areas to remove the weeds.
He noted that typha grass was a menace in the area as it has blocked the waterways, invaded farmlands and decreased water output.
Efforts to speak with officials of the Chad Basin Development Authority proved abortive as the agency does not have an office in Jigawa.
When contacted, the spokesman of Kirikasamma LGA, Alhaji Sanusi Doro, said the council had released N300,000 as allowances to the youths who took part in the ongoing communal labour.
He noted that the council chairman, Alhaji Salisu Kubayo, personally participated in clearing the weeds in the areas to avert flooding.
“These areas produce rice three times in a year; therefore, we have to do everything possible to protect the means of livelihood of our people,” Doro said.
He appealed to the Chad Basin Development Authority to return to site and continue dredging activities as soon as the water levels became low.
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