7 February 2013

Nigeria: Sokoto Flooding Due to Sedimentation - Ministry

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has attributed the recent flood in Sokoto State to high level of new sedimentation unleashed following the 2012 flooding incidence that led to several changes in the water course.

The ministry in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja said that the flood may also be as a result of movement of local farmers to develop farm sites at the newly emerged sedimentary locations.

The statement said that its attention was drawn to a recent flooding of some farmlands in Sokoto State due to water releases from Bakolori Dam.

"The ministry takes note that following a request of government of Sokoto State to the Sokoto-Rima River Basin Development Authority for additional release of water to satisfy the urban water needs at the water treatment plant in Sokoto, the basin authority obliged. Accordingly additional water releases were systematically made following existing procedures and guidelines which include emphasis on safety of communities downstream and extant regulations on dam safety.

"Arising from the above situation, the ministry wishes to assure all communities downstream that all measures are being taken to fully study all areas where such sedimentation occurred. Also the ministry has created funds in budget 2013 for in-depth study of the areas affected by such new settlements," it added.

The statement further said that the Sokoto RRBDA will also take additional measures, within the resources available to them, to undertake basic river training and dredging to make all water courses downstream Bakolori Dam amenable to free flow of water.

"The management of Bakolori Dam will continue to maintain highest level of professionalism to forestall any such occurrences. The federal government therefore advises all communities downstream to avoid any economic activities on temporary siltation created by flooding and maintain their farming activities in the traditional locations where they had existed," it said.

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