Senator Lawan chides Sambo over Kafin Zaki dam ...Says project will impoverish 15 million people
The planned Kafin Zaki dam in Bauchi, if constructed, would only serve to further endanger the livelihoods of more than 15 million people, said Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan.
Reacting to comments made by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zonal rally in Bauchi, recently, that government will complete the construction of the dam, Senator Lawan, representing Yobe North Senatorial District, argued that doing so will severely reduce the water from River Jama’are to the downstream areas of Yobe, Borno Jigawa and some parts of Bauchi State.
Lawan said the affected areas were yet to recover from effects of construction of Tiga Dam in 1976 and Challawa gorge dam in 1992 which significantly reduced water flow into the Komadugu Yobe Basin.
He said: “The socio – economic impacts of the blockage have been obvious over the years. Today, that part of the North-eastern part of Nigeria is the poorest, due to the inability of the people to farm, fish, rear animals and other similar wealth generating activities that they eke life from.”
Lawan averred that the current insecurity in Borno and Yobe states could be attributed to the wide spread poverty in the area.
He said that the situation could get worse if the problem of desertification accentuated by the lack of water to support fora and fauna life in the affected states persisted.
“Any further shortage of water will aggravate the situation,” he added.
Continuing, he said: “While the Kafin Zaki Dam project is to provide jobs to about 100,000 people, it should be stated that River Jama’are presently provides means of livelihoods for of about fifteen million people downstream. It is logical that there are far more people and communities to benefit from the unimpeded flow of the river more than the people to benefit otherwise it.”
However, Lawan commended President Goodluck Jonathan over his stance on the construction of the Kafin Zaki Dam, saying: “In 2010, the President told a high powered delegation from Bauchi State that he would take a look at the EIA Report on the proposed dam to ensure that everything was done properly and correctly.”
He advised the Federal Government to enunciate programmes to reduce poverty and engender an all inclusive growth in the North-east.