The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, on Tuesday said that 37 dams being constructed by the Federal Government for irrigation and other needs had been completed, while 10 others had been rehabilitated 149 are currently undergoing construction in different parts of the country.
The Minister disclosed this during the 2014 Ministerial Platform on Third Year of Transformation in The Water Sector.
Presenting her ministry’s scorecard, Ochekpe noted that since the recreation of the ministry in 2010, 179 new irrigation schemes have been completed, 21 irrigation schemes have been rehabilitated while 185 irrigation schemes are ongoing in the country.
She said, “Since the recreation of this ministry in 2010, 37 dams have been completed, 10 old ones have witnessed various forms of rehabilitation while 149 new ones are been constructed in different parts of the country including the Kashimbilla dam which is currently at 87% completion.
“We have also embarked on 179 new irrigation schemes in addition to 21 existing irrigation projects. When these irrigation schemes are completed it will provide 397, 060 of irrigable land.
The current transformation in the water sector is expected to also boast power supply within the country” she added. The minister noted that the percentage of crop production between 2010 and 2013 had increased, thereby accounting for a 76 per cent increase in rice production due to the up scaling of irrigation in the country with the construction of 4,940 water supply facilities nationwide.
Speaking on water sanitation and hygiene in the country she said, “Nigeria has keyed in the United Nations’ End-Open defecation and hand washing campaigns to reduce cholera, typhoid, diarrhoea and most recently, the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD”.
Ochekpe said that through Annual Rainfall Prediction by the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency, NIHSA, the ministry had been able to monitor and control river discharges particularly along River Niger and Benue and its tributaries, adding that there is also a joint management of water flow with neighbouring countries to mitigate against flooding.