From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
HYDROELECTRIC Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) has enlisted the services of experts to identify areas of possible interventions against the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) prediction of worse flood this year.
Arch. Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa, Managing Director of the Commission disclosed this while on a courtesy visit to the Ohimege-Igu of Koton-Karfe, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Sani Isah-Koto on Sunday at his palace in Koton-Karfe.
The Managing Director said HYPPADEC had received warning from NiMET indicating worse flooding this year (2023) beyond 2022 experience hence the need for plans to mitigate impact of flooding from the two major rivers in the country .
He said that against this backdrop, the Commission had embarked on critical assessment and appraisal of the six most affected local government areas in the state using experts from within and outside the commission to identify areas of intervention to mitigate of likely effects of the floods.
“That’s why members of the Governing Council and the Management Committee decided to approve for us to come and meet with you and the Ministry of Environmental to see what intervention we can implement before the rains set in.
“We have done a lot of studies and met a lot of consultants to ensure that what we want to do here will solve the flood problems forever”, he said.
The traditional title holder of Katukan Yauri warned the 10 flood-prone Local Government Areas and riverine communities in Kogi to guard against the NIMET prediction of a worse flooding situation this year.
In his response, the First Class traditional ruler commended the efforts of Commission so far in providing succour for flood victims in the areas saying that HYPPADEC had become a household name in the communities.
Alhaji Abdulrazaq Sani Isa-Koto however said that the red alert from NIMET over possible flooding this year, had left his people in fear even as they are yet to recover from the devastating effects of the 2022 flooding.
The royal father called for dredging the Rivers Niger and Benue as the plausible and most lasting solution to the perennial flooding of the area accentuated by water falls from hills and mountains surrounding the area.
He informed the visitors that the the community had put in place what he called Koton-Karfe Area Flood Disaster Management Committee and went on to confer a chieftaincy title of “Garkuwan-Igu” on the HYPPADEC Managing Director, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa,
Hon. Victor Adewale Omofaiye, the state Commissioner for Environment in his remarks said by virtue of the location of the state, Kogi would continue to be on the Red Alert.
“By virtue of our location, there are things that will always confront us and one of such is this flooding. We were in Egypt October, last year and there, we were told that this year, we are going to experience flooding again.
“And now it is here. Our level of preparedness must be solid this time around. We in the Ministry of Environment and related ministries have been working round-the-clock to ensure that this this problem bedeviling us (flooding) is faced headlong”, he said.
Representatives of the youths, Koton-Karfe-Igu Descendants Association (KIDA), Abdulkarim Shaibu; Women Leader, Hajia Zainab Ibrahim and President Koton-Karfe Area Development Union, Alhaji Abdulrahman Wuya addressed the commission’s management during the visit.