Committed to transform agricultural and food production in Kano, the State Agro Pastoral Development Project (KSADP) has approved the contract for renovation of Watari irrigation scheme worth N314, 454, 625.
The irrigation scheme is situated downstream of the Watari Dam, in Bagwai Local Government area of Kano State, with potential to enhance cultivation of vast hectares of rice, several other crops and vegetables.
Speaking during the official handing over of the project to Hajaig Nigeria Ltd., the State Project Coordinator, Mallam Ibrahim Garba Muhammad, explained that the scope of work included repairs of gully erosion on the dam’s embankment, repairs and desilting of main canals and drainages, as well as the night storage reservoir.
“Besides the renovation of the dam, whose embankment has been eroded and its canals blocked, our project intends to create additional 1,000 hectares of irrigation land, meaning more people in this locality would be engaged in farming,” he added.
The coordinator, however, appealed to farmers and other stakeholders in the area to cooperate with the contractor to ensure speedy completion of the World Bank initiated project.
“I want to inform you that the KSADP is being funded and supported with grants by the Islamic Development Bank and the Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) to improve crop production and enhance livestock productivity, and this project is one of the main activities we are going to conduct to achieve our goals.”
Representative of the contractor, Mr Kasem Hajaig, assured that heavy equipment would be mobilised to site immediately to ensure that the work is completed within three months as contained in the contract agreement.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Alhaji Ali Ibrahim, promised that they would ensure that the project is monitored and completed in good time, in view of its importance to their socio-economic progress.
It is expected that the governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, would flag-off the renovation work in the next couple of days.
A release signed by Project Communication Specialist, Ameen K. Yassar, stated that the dam and its auxiliary infrastructure had not undergone repairs in the last 40 years of creation despite its huge potential for agriculture and rural development.