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dam-l Nigerian Dam report/LS
>>ERA FIELD REPORT NUMBER 19
>>POWER SHIFT AT THE DAM: A LOOMING NATIONAL DISASTER
>>DESPATCH LINE: JEBBA, NIGER STATE FROM: DENJA YAQUB DATE: Monday,
>>January 11, 1999 SUBJECT: THE KAINJI DAM FLOOD
>>? October floods shift Kainji Dam
>>? Dam & equipment not maintained
>>? Livestock, farmlands, houses destroyed
>>? Inhabitants displaced from their communities
>>? Impending national blackout
>>INTRODUCTION / BACKGROUND
>>The residents of Borgu, Kasavu, Pategi, Awiru, Leba, Chiagu, Yankere,
>>Fakum, Dodo Gweri, Doko, Suri, Dugi and Fakun in the Kainji dam area of
>>Niger State, Nigeria, will not easily forget October 1998. They
>>experienced a massive flooding occasioned by defects in the dam that
>>made it impossible for the flood waters to be safely disposed of.
>>Houses, business premises and farmlands were washed away and some
>>remain under water even as we write this report.
>>THE DAMNING DAMS
>>There are three major dams in Niger State, Nigeria: The Kainji dam
>>(built in 1968), Jebba dam built in 1985 and Shiroro dam built in 1990.
>> A fourth dam is about being built at Zungeru, also in Niger State.
>>They are all hydro-electricity dams and generate a combined power
>>output of 1,900 megawatts.
>>Apart from the hydro dams, five thermal stations located at Afam,
>>Sapele, Egbin, Ughelli and Ijora (with a combined installed capacity of
>>3,976 mega watts) generate electricity that is distributed by the
>>National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).
>>The Kainji dam has a main dam and a saddle dam. The main dam is
>>constructed of concrete and the rock fills. The saddle dam is rock
>>filled and protects the main dam during flooding. There are four
>>spillways with hydraulic operated gates of 50 ft by 50 ft, which could
>>be opened to control flood and also to release water for use at the
>>Jebba Dam downstream.
>>The dam is 215 ft (85.5m) in height from the toe to the crest and about
>>5 miles (8.04 km) in length. The lake is supplied with water from upper
>>Niger and flows from Futa Djarlon Island through Guinea, Mali, Sierra
>>Leone, Senegal and Niger. It stretches some 136 km upstream and has a
>>breadth of 24 km at its widest point. Its maximum head elevation is
>>465 ft (141.73m) and maximum tail elevation is 330 ft (104m). The lake
>>has a total capacity of 15 billion cubic meters covering an area of 1270
>>There are two flooding seasons called white flood and black flood.
>>white flood which originates from Sokoto Prima basins owing to heavy
>>rainfall in the Sokoto and Kainji areas begins in mid-August while the
>>black flood begins in November and peaks in December / January. The
>>black Flood is caused by heavy rainfall around the source of the
>>River Niger and the entire upper reach of the river in Guinea, Mali,
>>Burkina-Faso and Niger Republic. The black flood lasts longer in
>>effect than the white flood.
>>1). NO MAINTENANCE The dam built at the cost of N175 million by
>>Impregilo, a consortium of three Italian firms namely Impresit, Girola
>>and Lodigiam, and took 20,000 men of nine different nationalities
>>almost five years to construct. According to the Public Relations
>>Officer of the Regional Headquarters of the National Electric Power
>>Plc, Mr. Tosa Usuanlele, it had never had any turn-around Maintenance
>>since it was constructed 30 years ago.
>>Funding of the construction of the dam was by the Federal Government of
>>Nigeria, Institute Di Credito Pa le Impresse Di Publica Utilita, the
>>World Bank, the U.K. Exporter Credit and Guarantee department, the
>>Government of Netherlands and the United States Agency for
>>International Development (USAID). Today, the set-up is starved of
>>funds and this has rendered most of the equipment and other operating
>>2) THE FLOOD
>>A heavy flood in mid-October, 1998 swept off more than 15 settlements
>>around the dam and along the coast of the River Niger. The dam was
>>built and installed with devices that are capable of detecting
>>disasters before they occur, but these have become obsolete and are
>>3) NEW DAMS?
>>But instead of committing funds for the maintenance of the shifted dam,
>>Government has opted to construct a 950 megawatts dam at Zungeru (Niger
>>State). This dam will utilise discharges from the Shiroro dam and
>>River Kaduna. Sources at the Kainji dam confirmed that the design,
>>feasibility, evaluation and tender for the construction have already been
>>Apart from this, there are plans to build another one at Mambila. The
>>Mambila dam is expected to be a 3,900-mega watts power station.
>>A SHIFTING DAM: AN IMPENDING CALAMITY
>>An electrical Engineer at the dam said the dam itself has shifted a bit
>>as a result of the last flood and that unless a turn-around maintenance
>>is done immediately the entire country will soon witness longer periods
>>of POWER OUTAGE.
>>Engineers and hydrologists at both the Kainji and Jebba power stations
>>that the Kainji dam are certain that the Kainji Dam may soon give way.
>>When this happens the entire nation will experience total darkness.
>>A source said, we are planning to do some rehabilitation work on the
>>dam to ensure that it can retain water. If the dam is allowed to fail
>>out of neglect, it would amount to a very big disaster for the entire
>>nation. If the Kainji dam should burst, the Kainji town itself and
>>many towns and settlements downstream will be washed away. The effect
>>will be felt all the way to the Niger delta. It will be a national
>>tragedy of unimagined proportions.
>>The World Bank is aware of this impending disaster, according to a NEPA
>>WARNINGS NO ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS
>>Hydrologists and engineers at the dam had a six- months- foreknowledge
>>of the disaster that occurred last October. They sent distress signals
>>to government and communities around the dam and the waterways to warn
>>them on the possibility of a calamitous flood. According to Engineer
>>T. J. Mohammed, the dams manager (electrical) both the distress and
>>the warnings were ignored.
>>THOSE WHO LIVE BY THE DAM
>>The communities around the dam and the waterways insist that they have
>>to be protected from the impending doom. They are essentially fishermen
>>and depend on the River Niger and the lake created by the dam.
>>According to Alhaji Ibrahim Bidi Mohammed, the Gankua of Borgu who is
>>also the principal private secretary to the emir of Borgu, the
>>construction of the dam dislodged them from their source of livelihood
>>without adequate compensation. The only compensation they got were
>>some houses, which are located far from the river. Some of these
>>houses collapsed. Only the ones in New Bussa, which includes the
>>emirs palace, which are of concrete, have not collapsed. The towns
>>and villages around the dam have no electricity except new Bussa, which
>>has no drinkable water since their water generating machines packed up
>>three months ago.
>>DISASTER AND BROKEN PROMISES
>>*Awuru town was promised access roads, water and electricity 30 years
>>ago, and today none of these promises have been fulfilled.
>>*The same applies to Fakun, which has the largest concentration of
>>Ijaws and which was most hit by the recent flood. The Ijaws live in
>>the dams neighbourhoods and in coastal villages along the waters up to
>>Kasavu. According to Alhaji Mohammed, you know they are fishermen,
>>when they settle, some of them do fishing, some of them do buying.
>>They buy the fish and smoke it for sale.
>>*Fishing activities have now been completely destroyed in addition to
>>the loss of buildings, farms and other personal effects. According to
>>Alhaji Mohammed, the Borgu Emirate Council has estimated the damage at
>>60 million naira. Despite complaints to Government and the Dam
>>management, nothing has been done.
>>*Apart from this disaster, an outbreak of river blindness is imminent.
>>According to the retired Chief Administrative Officer of the Dam, only
>>those living 10 kilometres away from the dam may not be affected. A
>>female resident of Fakim confirmed to us that attempts have been made
>>to convince them to relocate but that they have refused because there
>>are no plans to rehabilitate them. Also, they will be deprived of
>>access to their farms and the river where they engage in fishing
>>activities. Alhaji Mohammed who said those who were relocated 30 years
>>ago are still suffering the effects of lack of access to the river for
>>fishing confirmed this. He said women and children suffer the most
>>because they are now compelled to trek several kilometres to enable
>>them engage in fishing and to fetch potable water. Some of them have
>>abandoned this venture altogether.
>>Apart from the Ijaws, other nationalities affected include Bisan,
>>Kamiban, Laru, Gunganoa, Lopanua, Nupe and Hausa. These were the
>>original settlers in the area where the dam is located.
>>At the time of our visit in early December, a village called Malanle is
>>still flooded. The entire sugar plantations of the Bacita Sugar
>>Company have been swept off while farms and houses in Pategi, Awiru,
>>Leba, Chiagu, Yankere, Fakum, Dodo Gweri, Doko, Suri Dugi and all the
>>villages and farms around the Jebba Dam which were built in 1985 were
>>CONCLUSION ERA Field investigation revealed that the extent of damage
>>caused by the flood has been under-reported by the Nigerian media while
>>the complicity of Government and NEPA has not been exposed. It was
>>alarming to discover that Government could neglect the biggest dam in
>>Nigeria that would drown millions of Nigerians if it collapses. The
>>fear now, even among engineers in Kainji is that this is imminent
>>unless adequate attention is placed on the dam for the TAM service.
>>*That NO NEW DAMS should be built in Nigeria.
>>*Adequate and prompt maintenance of existing dams.
>>*Immediate salvaging of the Kainji dam to avert national calamity
>>*Awareness campaign for the public on the counter-productive and
>>destructive nature of dams to man and his environment.
>>*Rehabilitation of the victims of the October flood at Kainji and
>>For more information contact: ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACTION/ FRIENDS OF
>>THE EARTH (FoE, Nigeria) + OILWATCH AFRICA
>>#214, Uselu-Lagos Road, P. O. Box 10577, Benin City, Nigeria Tel/Fax: +
>>234 52 600165 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
>># 13 Agudama Street, D-Line, Port Harcourt Tel: + 234 84 236365 Email:
>># 1 Balogun Street, Ikeja Email: email@example.com
>>Owerri: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>London: Tel/Fax: + 44 181 7800574 Email: email@example.com
>>ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACTION [ FRIENDS OF THE EARTH NIGERIA]
>>#214 Uselu Lagos Road, Benin City, Nigeria Tel/Fax + 234 52 600 165
>>"All people shall have the right to (a) safe and generally satisfactory
>>environment favourable to their development". (Article 24, African
>>Charter of Human and People's Rights)