Nigeria: Flood – Jigawa Farmers Demand Compensation From Hadejia-Jamare River Basin Authority

The farmers said the flooding being experienced in the state was due to the release of water by the HJRBDA.

A group of farmers in Jigawa State is blaming the management of the Hadejia Jama’re River Basin Development Authority (HJRBDA) for the flooding in the area that washed away their farmlands.

The farmers claimed the flood in the area was caused by the release of the water reservoir from the dam by the management of HJRBDA.

The farmers from Ringim Local Government Area of the state led by Habibu Muhammad are demanding an assessment of the damages caused by the flood and the payment of compensation by the agency.

In a letter dated 9 August 2022, signed by its managing director, Ma’amun Da’u-Aliu, and addressed to the Jigawa government, HJRBDA said it was going to discharge the water from the dam following torrential rainfall in the area.

“Due to excessive rainfall experienced in recent days in both its surrounding and its catchment areas, the Tiga Dam reservoir located in Rano Local Government Area, Kano State, has reached its maximum capacity and has started discharging its water into the Kano-Hadejia rivers.

“Although, this is not expected to cause any direct harm to flow in the river for some time to come.

“This letter is, therefore, intended to alert the government of Jigawa State on this development and also implore its assistance in sensitising the said communities to be on alert in the likelihood of flood along the river banks and report any abnormal rise in the water levels to the authorities,” the letter stated.

On Wednesday, speaking on behalf of the farmers, Mr Muhammad, who is also the Special Adviser to Governor Muhammad Badaru on Media Content Development, said the excess water released by the HJRBDA contributed to worsening the flooding around the Hadejia River which led to the unprecedented flooding in the area. He said farmlands and houses were destroyed in 11 local governments in the state.

He said the flooding that occurred between August and September was worsened by the release of excess water by the HJRBDA.

“The damage caused by the flooding was so huge that farmers cannot bear it alone, therefore, there is a need for HJRBDA to pay compensation to the victims,” Mr Muhammad said.

He said residents of Jigawa State, including civil society and rights organisations, should appeal to HJRBDA to pay compensation for the devastation caused by the flood.

Also, he alleged that the management of the dam failed to provide water to the farmers during the dry season only to release excess water when it was not needed.

Efforts to get the managing director of the HJRBDA to comment on the development were not successful.

This reporter visited his office in Kano on Thursday and Friday morning but he was not available at his place of work.

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