The rehabilitation works for the Watari dam in Nigeria have been temporarily stopped following a directive from the state government of Kano. The directive came as a result of complaints by farmers, especially in Bagwai and Bichi Local Government Areas in the northwest of the state.
According to the farmers, the prolonged absence of water downstream after Hajaig Construction Nigeria Limited, a building & civil engineering construction services company and the project contractor, blocked the flow of water into the irrigation canals in order to continue its work, was affecting agricultural production and undermining people’s food security. 1
The irrigation canals serve approximately 2,600 hectares of plantation on which various crops including wheat, pulses, and vegetables are grown in both wet and dry seasons.
Rehabilitation works done so far
The rehabilitation of the Watari dam is approximately 40% complete. Particularly, to date the contractor has completed the repair of the irrigation canals and spillway of the Watari Dam night storage reservoir, which is located in Bagwai, a local government area in Kano State. 1
When the entire rehabilitation works are complete, the third-largest dam in Kano State will be restored to its original storage capacity of 104.55 million cubic meters. Regarding the temporary stoppage of the project, the Kano State authorities did not give any further details on when work on the dam would resume.
The contract for the repair and rehabilitation of the dam was awarded under the Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project (KSADP). The State Government is fully funding the rehabilitation works to the tune of US$ 31M.
Built between 1977 and 1980, the Watari dam is mainly used for flood control, irrigation, and fisheries. The secondary benefit of the dam includes recreation water supply and wild conservation.