By Mustapha Salisu
Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has pledged to judiciously utilize over 20 existing dams in the state to boost irrigation farming and supplement the rainy season.
The governor made the pledge on Tuesday at the State Government House while receiving the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph T. Utsev, who is in Kano on a familiarization visit.
Received by his deputy, Comr. Aminu Abdussalam Gwarzo, the governor said the move aims to provide food and cash crops for industries, provide employment for rural communities, improve livestock activities, reduce flooding incidences, and provide recreational centers across the state.
Tabling challenges faced by Kano State in its water sector before the minister, Governor Yusuf disclosed that most dams built in Kano have been existing for close to 40-60 years, and most of them have developed structural issues, while some have been turned into refuse dumps, thereby polluting the water and making it hazardous for consumption.
He explained that his administration has taken a giant step towards maintaining the dams and solicits the support and intervention of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to tackle the challenges.
“We have inaugurated a committee saddled with the responsibility of assessing the state of the affected dams, and we are waiting for their reports on how to respond to the challenges,” he said.
While assuring of total cooperation with the Water Ministry, the governor assured that the state government is on the process of developing over 1,000 hectares of land at Watari, Thomas, and Jakara Irrigation schemes.
Earlier speaking, the Minister for Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph T. Utsev, said he is in Kano on a familiarization visit to view the activities of agencies and parastatals under his ministry, such as the Hadejia-Jama’are River Basin Development Authority (HJRBDA).
He also disclosed that his visit seeks to explore the requests of the state government in order to augment them with his ministry’s resources to achieve President Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda.
Utsev further elucidated that they are also in Kano to see the extent to which the ministry’s facilities are being maintained, as well as to collaborate with the state government towards strengthening the capacity of the river basin and increasing funding for the expansion of programs on the ground for execution.
He noted that the collaboration with the state government will pave the way for providing portable drinking water for the people of Kano State as well as boost irrigation farming and other water-inclined activities.
Also speaking, the state commissioner for water resources, Ali Haruna Makoda, said that prior to the coming of this current administration, about 85% of highlift pressure pumps were not working, but about 55% have been restored and are pumping water to households in Kano under Governor Abba’s led administration.
Dignitaries who attended the event include: Commissioner Ministry for Environment, Nasiru Sule Garo; Commissioner of Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Ibrahim Namadi Dala; Perm Sec office of the deputy Governor; and Directors, among others.