Riverine Communities in Kwara Visit HYPPADEC
A delegation of people living in riverine communities in Kwara State paid a courtesy visit to the management team of Hydro-electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) in its headquarters in Minna yesterday. The delegation was drawn from communities that are frequently affected by floods in Patigi, Lafiagi, Tsaragi, Tsonga and Kaiama Emirates where effects of seasonal release of water from dams upstream has displaced families and destroyed farmlands in recent years.
The delegation led by Former LADDU President who doubles as the Talban Lafiagi, Arc. Salihu Sulaiman during the visit made an emphatic case on behalf of riverine communities whose livelihoods largely depends on their trades located on and along the banks of the River Niger which he said, have been disrupted due to incessant flooding as a result of both natural and man-made factors.
While making his presentation, the Talban Lafiagi remarked; ‘When it comes to implementation, I want to us to look at both infrastructural and human capital development holistically. Talking about infrastructural development, the effects of these dams erodes both our flora and fauna, that’s the whole vegetation which makes farming very difficult and fishing almost impossible. And these are the mainstays of people living in these communities. These communities are educationally and economically disadvantaged even from the state context’.
He went further to reiterate the need to provide intervention projects in critical sectors of the economy with a view to providing succor and ameliorating the plights of these people who have been left to themselves for many years while the effects of flooding persists.
‘We need to consider bringing basic social amenities closer to these groups of people. These includes schools which is out of reach to some of these communities or most times have to travel long distances before getting to one, schools that are solely owned by HYPPADEC should be established in these communities. Health care centers and hospitals with all the attendant facilities including drugs is very key. Access to potable water supply is another key component that should be considered as these communities have been exposed to consumption of contaminated water.
All season roads in rural communities will go a long way in helping the farming populations in these communities to transport their farm produce to their target markets. Power supply is another important social amenity that is lacking in these communities because it beats me to see that communities suffering from the effects of power generation are left in darkness’, he said.
Arc. Salihu Sulaiman strongly suggested that the teeming youths from these communities should be considered for employment opportunities within the ranks of the commission especially in the grassroots, noting that such approach will make easy for the commission to implement its set goals.
While responding, the representative of the Managing Director; Director, Finance and Accounts, Mr. Gabi assured the delegation of the commission’s commitment to fulfilling the aims that established it which he said while rightly highlighted during the presentation.