Over 1,000 villages are under threat of being submerged following the release of excess water from the Hydro Electric Dams in Niger State in this rainy season.
LEADERSHIP findings revealed that every year the Shiroro, Jebba, and Kainji power dams in the state release excess water as a result of rainfall from their turbines.
Findings revealed the Nigeria metrological agency had sent an early warning to the state over a likely heavy rain, and a forecast that showed that the dams will require excess water to be discharged from their turbines.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the excess water to be discharged will affect mostly villages in Shiroro, Mokwa, Borgu, Agwara, Lapai , Edati and Lavun local government areas of the state and will result in large-scale flooding in the villages along the flood plain of River Niger and Kaduna hosting the three dams.
Some of the villagers interviewed said, in the past, apart from their homes being submerged, large farmlands are lost to such flood with no mitigation from the Dams.
Attempt to get the authorities of the dams to speak on the level of preparedness for the imminent environmental disaster, proved abortive but, a staff of one of the dams who pleaded anonymity told LEADERSHIP that “before excess water is discharged, the villagers are given early warning information.”
The director general of Niger state Emergency Management Agency Alhaji Ahmed Inga confirmed to LEADERSHIP the likelihood of large scale flood in the area this year.
He said almost 22 out of the 25 local government areas were affected by flood last year. He added that many villagers were moved to Internally Displaced Persons Camps even though he maintained that those along the rivers hosting the dams are more disastrous.