This Day (Lagos)

27 February 2014

Nigeria: FG Compensates Kashimbila Community Over Dam Project

The Minister of Water Resources Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, has assured the communities around the Kashimbila buffer Dam of adequate compensation for their land before the completion of the project.

The Kashimbila buffer dam is under construction in Takum Local Government of Taraba State to mitigate the disaster that may occur to Nigerians as a result of the break of Lake Nyos in Cameroon.

The Minister gave the assurance to the community members recently while inspecting the dam site at Kashimbila, Takum Local Government close to the Cameroon border.

Ochekpe said: "In construction of project like this there are compensations that would be paid to communities and these can be done when proper enumeration is done to know who is affected and what is involved and what is the value involved. So far, the Ministry has been able to enumerate the total of 21 communities and over N260 million has been paid as compensation, for the remaining communities, process of enumeration will commence and they will be paid as soon as enumeration is completed."

The minister expressed federal government's appreciation to the communities for their support to allow government use their land to construct the dam, adding that their support to Kashimbila Dam project was commendable. She noted that the construction of the dam would not only benefit the federal government but also benefit the communities around the dam.

In her words: "We are doing this for the progress of Nigeria but we are also doing it for the progress of the communities, because if nothing is done and the environmental hazards of Lake Nyos come, the first victims are the communities".

She further said before Nigerians in other parts of the country benefit from the economic activities of the dam, it is the immediate communities that would benefit.

Ochekpe said: "In construction of project like this there are compensations that would be paid to communities and these can be done when proper enumeration is done to know who is affected and what is involved and what is the value involved. So far the Ministry has been able to enumerate the total of 21 communities and over N260 million has been paid as compensation, for the remaining communities, process of enumeration will commence and they will be paid as soon as enumeration is completed"

The Minister explained that the development of irrigation component of the project would take place after the water is impounded. "Hydro power is in progress, the contractors are also in process of providing potable water to the community, already pipe laying work has been done to Takum Local Government where treatment plant would be built".

The Minister therefore appealed to the communities to exercise patience as government would make sure that it provides all the facilities required, and that nothing would be left undone.

In his remarks, the Supervising Minister of Environment, Mr. Darius Ishaku, who is an indigene of the community, expressed gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan for constructing the dam.

"We are indeed grateful for the work done, before this administration the work was very slow, but immediately the present administration came on board the work commenced in earnest", Ishaku said.

He commended the contractors and urged them to sustain the good work and further called on them to reintegrate the communities in the project activities.

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