The Director-General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Clement Onyeaso Nze, has attributed the constant flooding being experienced in the country to an inadequate dam system.
Nze, while speaking with journalists in Abuja weekend, stated that 400 dams are not adequate for a country like Nigeria, adding that the importance of dams can never be overemphasized.
He stated that flooding, which is seen as a disaster, could be of great economic importance to the country if properly managed and channelled to the agricultural sector and hydropower plants creation.
Eze said that water that is supposed to be a blessing is becoming a curse, adding that: “Nigeria is tremendously blessed with a huge amount of both surface and groundwater but the challenge has been the proper management of this resource and not until we see water as an economic resource, we will continue like this.”
According to him, after each cycle of flooding, “the agriculturists will tell you that the nutrients capacity of the soil had highly improved and they experienced bumper harvest. We can convert this flood to economic benefits to our nation”.
The NIHSA boss maintained that the country has about 400 dams and less than 200 of them are what he called “large dams. There are so much to be done with dams. We have enough water for the development of hydropower plants and other economic projects”.
“We have been advising the state governments to find a way to construct diversion canals by the Rivers Niger and Benue and channel the water distance away and develop another city there. It cannot only be a means of flood reduction but can be used for agriculture and other businesses,” Eze said.
He however advised that blocked drainages and gutters should be cleared, river channels be dredged, structures within the waterways, floodplains and flood paths be pulled down.