The Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) on Friday urged government to hasten the design and construction of? Mambilla and Katsina-Ala hydropower dams as a measure to control floods in the areas.
Alhaji Mustapha Shehu, President of NSE, made the position of the society known in Asaba, while addressing newsmen.
Shehu said that the objective of the briefing was to put forward the position of the society on the recent flooding in the country and offer lasting solution to the phenomenon.
He said hastening the design and construction of the 2,600MW Mambilla and the 60MW? Katsina-Ala hydropower dams would also produce electricity and provide flood control on River Benue from Cameroon.
Shehu, represented by the Vice-President of NSE, Chief Otis Anyeaji,? advised that dams already studied should be reviewed, relocated and implemented downstream of Lokoja and upstream or downstream of Onitsha in Anambra.
He recommended that the Federal Government should pursue the installation of four new hydro-turbines in the available pits in Kainji as the machines in Kainji dam had outlived their design lives.
Shehu said that since the civil works had already been completed, the installation would lead to more economic flood control on the River Niger.
The NSE president further recommended that government should hasten the dredging of River Niger and River Benue, the Kainji Lake reservoir which had never been dredged since 1964 as well as kainji and Jebba dams.
He stressed that the dams should be dredged to design levels and thereafter be dredged every five years, while the dredged out-stands from the dams and rivers should be evacuated from the vicinity to safe locations.
He also said an appropriate river bank protection should be immediately developed that would also result to the development of other economic activities, such as fishing and tourism.
He further called for adequate resources to be committed to the maintenance of dams in the country so as to preserve a safe operational state of the nation’s dam so as to avoid future failure of dams.
He also called for a joint conference on harmonising and sharing hydrological data and warning system for appropriate emergency response with all the relevant agencies and Cameroon.
Shehu said the current flooding of communities on the banks of River Niger and River Benue had shown how vulnerable the country was to the impact of natural disasters.
He said the severity of the flood was as a result of the panic release of large amounts of water from Lagdo dam, which caused an unusual rise in the water level along the course of River Benue.
He said most of the Benue and Niger courses lacked curtailment structures and hence unprotected and resulted to the water becoming uncontrollable and over-running the banks.
Shehu said the lack of proper information sharing, such as hydrological and operational data among dam agencies in Nigeria and Cameroon, made it impossible to predict risks and develop mitigation measures.