October 28, 2021

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350 souls lost to boat crashes on inland waterways in 2020

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Kanji Dam, Hydro Power Plant

Statistics have revealed that not less than 350 souls were lost to various boat mishaps in Nigeria’s inland waterways in the year 2020.

Mr Joseph Ityav, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, (HYPPADEC), made the disclosure in Borgu, Niger Stat

The Chairman of HYPPADEC, made the announcement while speaking at Malale in Borgu local government area of Niger State at the flag-off of the cutting of tree logs and removal of huge debris on Kainji and Shiroro Lakes.

Mr Joseph Ityav, Chairman, Governing Council, Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, (HYPPADEC),

He said the project, debris clearing on the lakes, was being executed in partnership with the National Inland Waterways Corporation, NIWA.

Ityav said reasons for most of the mishaps were poor conditions of boats, overloading, unavailability of life jackets and the preponderance of tree logs on the waterways.

He said that the cutting of the tree logs and removal of debris would greatly reduce boat crashes and the hardships riverine communities were hitherto subjected.

In his speech, the Managing Director of HYPPADEC, Alhaji Abubakar Yelwa, said the Commission would address ecological and environmental issues and the avoidable loss of lives which resulted from the construction of the Kainji and Shiroro Dams.

Yelwa commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the National assembly for signing the Act that established HYPPADEC, which began operations in 2020 with the view to address the challenges of the adversely affected communities.

Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Abdullahi Sabi, speaking at the ceremony said that HYPPADEC’s debris clearing project would help to address challenges faced by communities in the hydro-power generating areas.

Sen. Sabi, who represented Sen. Gabriel Suswan, Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, said that the National Assembly would continue to support HYPPADEC to achieve its objectives.

Recalled that Kainji Dam was constructed on River Niger in 1964 at a princely cost of $209 million and was inaugurated in 1968.

Also, Shiroro Dam was constructed on the River Niger, in Kaduna State, southwest of Abuja in 1983.

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