Niger Basin Authority (NBA), an organization that manages the trans-boundary water between Nigeria and eight other African countries has agreed to collaborate with the World Bank in rehabilitating Kainji and Jebba dams located in Niger state.
The two dams were build on River Niger which is trans-boundary water that passes through Benin, Burkina faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Chad.
The NBA with it's headquarter in Niamey, Republic of Niger, has a National Focal Structure in each of its member state.
As part of preparation for the rehabilitations, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, the supervising NBA National Focal Structure in Nigeria has organized stakeholder's visibility workshop for the communities leaving around the dam sites.
The essence of the workshop was to brief the local communities about the activities on the two dams and assured them government readiness to cushion the negative effect that the rehabilitation may cause them by providing alternative ways of living as part of it social responsibilities.
Speaking at the workshop, Mrs. Laraba Bagaiya, the National Coordinator, NBA National Focal Structure and also the Director, Planning Research and Statistic, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, said that it was very important to engage the communities and informed them about the benefit that would be associated with the rehabilitations.
Mrs.Bagaiya who was represented by Mrs. Abiola Bawa, deputy director in the ministry said that the major objectives of the workshop was to sensitize the public on the visibility of NBA programmes especially the current efforts of the NBA and World Bank at rehabilitating Kainji and Jebba dams which is aimed at increasing power generation and employment opportunities.
She urged the local communities to plan and identify what they need from government to alleviate the suffering that may be cause by dam's construction and rehabilitation depending on the location of the community.
She said, "It is when we work together in harmony that we can also get maximum benefit from the projects, hence we want to use this medium to solicit your cooperation, we, the communities, civil society, local government need to partner with PHCN and other stakeholders to ensure that welfare of the communities are taken into consideration during the implementation of the projects."
She pleaded with the communities to support and participate actively in NBA activities and to protect the investment within their localities. "We urged you to accept ownership of these projects and guard them jealously," she added.
NBA is expected to complete the rehabilitation by December 2014.