From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
All states under the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPADEC) are to begin to remit 50 percent of its monthly ecological funds to the Commission from the month of March, this year.
Daily Sun reports that Benue and other states including Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Plateau, Sokoto and Cross River are some of the states that fall under HYPADEC and are expected to commence remittance immediately.
Managing Director (MD), HYPADEC, Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa disclosed this while speaking to newsmen in Makurdi, when he led the Governing Council of HYPADEC on a familiarisation tour of Benue for an on the spot assessment of projects in the state on Wednesday.
In a chat with newsmen after the tour, the MD expressed the hope that the Commission would begin to drive funds that are meant for the ecological intervention by the end of March.
“For this purpose, the Federal Government and the states, and national assembly have all keyed into it. That is why we have an Act that has specifically indicated that (remittance).”
“When President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated this Commission, he gave us a marching order that he does not wish to hear about recurring cases of flooding affecting communities, hence we are here as part of our familiarisation tour.
“This is our first time here and we’ve come to have an on the spot analysis of the situation, even though we are sending our technical team to do a reconnaissance, but we will pick emergency spots that require urgent intervention.
He assured that the Commission is going to ensure that it proffers an immediate short term solution to the flooding problems especially, at the Idye basin water project before we go to other areas.”
Earlier, the Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Dondo Ahire Benue State Commissioner of Water Resources and Environment, Dondo Ahire disclosed that the second and third phases of the Idye Basin Water Project in the state capital was stalled due to paucity of funds, thus increasing incidences of flooding.
He said the fifty percent remittance to HYPADEC is to enable the Commission use the funds for ecological interventions, while the states would use the balance to address other ecological intervention in the state.
Ahire explained further that another reason for the flood was the railway at Nyiman extension, which has hindered the construction of the drainage across, adding that the state government had written to authorities of the railway corporation on the matter but that they were yet to act on it.
“It is standard practice that railway projects are carried out by railway contractors; their construction is handled by their engineers; no engineer has the permission to tamper with their construction. We have written to them already to come and open up bigger culverts here.”, but they were yet to respond.
“So when there is a rain storm or water from the dams are released, then it accumulates here and water cannot pass through and it floods the whole environment.
“That’s not all and because water has been aggregated into this channel, the volume of water is now too much.
On his part, Chairman, HYPADEC, Terfa Ityav promised that they would get to work as soon as they get back to Abuja, to impress on the railway authorities to hasten work on the culverts.
“We will visit the railway cooperation to see how they can expedite action on this work.”
Daily Sun gathered that the first phase of the Idye water basin that was completed is about 3.3 kilometers, while the second and third phases comprise about 4.5 kilometres.