Flood: NEMA urges farmers to embrace irrigation to reduce destruction of farmlands

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised farmers to embrace irrigation instead of the raining season farming to reduce destruction of farmlands by flood in Niger.

The NEMA Coordinator in Niger, Mr Lugard Slaku, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Tuesday.

It would be recalled that farmlands in 24 communities were destroyed by flood in Mokwa Local Government Areas of the state on Sept. 19.

Slaku said that the federal and state Ministries of Agriculture should collaborate to encourage irrigation farming and liaise with experts to educate farmers on crops that could be cultivated before the raining season.

He said that it was time for Federal and state governments to also think of ways on how to create smaller dams that would be used as alternative means to absorb water released from hydro dams to tackle flood disaster.

He said that the construction of Zungeru dam in Niger would serve as alternative reservoir to channel water release from Shiroro dam so as to reduce the pressure on land.

“Already Kanji, Shiroro and Jebba Hydro dams have given warnings that they will soon release water from the dams and there is prediction that the rainfall this year will last till October in Niger.

“And already in the state, we have experienced a number of flood cases in four local government areas due to rainfalls.

“If state and Federal Government can find alternative means by creating smaller dams so that water that is released from these dams can be channel to the smaller dams.

“The water absorbed by these smaller dams can be used for irrigation farming. This system will help the generation stations control the water they release and saves states and communities from flood,” he said.

Slaku said that communities in Niger with no record of flood in the past are now experiencing flood due to climate change, and urged the state Ministry of Agriculture to come up with modalities to further sensitise communities on prevailing disasters.

He decried the flood disaster on attitudinal change of community leaders by refusing to cooperate with disaster agents to replicate information to in their various communities on flood.

He added that the agency would further collaborate the state Emergency Management Agency and Ministry of Information using the media to create awareness on flood.