11 September 2021 By Georgina Humphrey
Dams are structures, built across a river or stream to hold back water.
Man made dams create artificial lakes called reservoirs which can be used to store water for farming, industries, and household use.
They also can be used for fishing and other leisure activities which have been used for many centuries to help prevent flooding.
Dams provide farmers with a steady source of water to irrigate crops to feed a growing population.
Annually Nigeria faces Perennial flooding resulting from blocked drainages, blockages of waterways, indiscriminate erection of structures and lack of dams to store excess water during the wet season.
How can Nigeria mitigate this disaster that had destroyed many communities and displaced people,, the Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA, Mr. Clement Nze in an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja explained that Dams across the nation are not enough to accommodate water released during the raining season hence the annual flooding.
Mr. Nze who stressed that Canada has 933 large dams and over 15,000 dams, India over 24,000 dams, China over 22,000 dams and Russia over 3,000 dams explained that Nigeria has only 400 dams which is not enough hence the need for construction of more dams to boost the agricultural sector.
He said dams are built for irrigation, hydropower supply and water supply to homes and cities stressed the need for building of more dams both large and earth dams to harvest the outflow of water occasioned by flooding.
The NIHSA Director General who called for the building of more dams to boost water supply, check flooding and increase electricity supply in the country added that dams in Nigeria are grossly inadequate.
He urged both the Federal and state Governments to embark on building of small or earth dams on the tributaries of major Rivers in the country namely River Niger and Benue.
According to him, “If more dams are built on the tributaries of Rivers Niger and Benue, it will go a long in reducing the amount of water flowing into the mainstream of River Niger and Benue.
“We need to build more dams in Nigeria because we are under-dam. Annually, Nigeria loses several billions of cubicle fresh water to the Atlantic Ocean.”Mr. Nze added
The Federal Government currently has about 200 dams, apart from the ones owned by states, organisations and private individuals in the country.