The House of Representatives directed its Committee on Water Resources to work with the Ministry of Water Resources to examine the contract performance of the Ivo Dam project, which connects Ebonyi and Enugu States, and to complete the project. The call came after the plenary considered a resolution headed “Need to Complete the IVO Dam Project in Ebonyi and Enugu States” sponsored by Hon. Makwe Livinus Makwe. Hon. Makwe, who introduced the motion, recalled that in 2014, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources awarded a contract to Messrs Anbeez Services Nigeria Limited to build the Ivo Dam at the confluence of the Ivo and Ikeh rivers on the border of Ivo Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, and Aninri Local Government Area, Enugu State.
He stated that while Mpu and Okpanku communities in Enugu State’s Aninri Local Government Area were downstream of the dam, Ngwogwo, Amaokwe, Okue, and Amaeke communities in Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area were upstream. He stated that the Federal Government specifically embarked on the Dam project for irrigation farming, fishery, and electricity generation in the interest of communities in Ebonyi and Enugu States that are predominantly agrarian farmers in order to encourage the cultivation of edible and industrial crops, food processing, and Agro-allied businesses, and farm product marketing.
Farmlands and rural settlements have remained permanently flooded.
Despite the fact that the building of the dam has reached an advanced stage, the project was abandoned due to a lack of money, resulting in the impoundment of water on the upstream side, particularly during the rainy seasons. Without the spillway, farmlands and rural settlements in the upstream communities of Ngwogwo, Amaokwe, Okue, and Amaeke are swamped and plundered by the flood. Until the project’s demise, these settlements had never been flooded or plundered by water.
Given that throughout the rainy seasons, the embankment itself aggravates the flooding, which he said keeps rising and spreads to inland communities with great velocity, Hon. Makwe expressed disappointment that with the withdrawal of the Dam embankment Project, without the spillway, over 40,000 acres of arable farmlands and rural settlements have remained permanently flooded. This has forced over 10,000 families to become homeless and without a place to live. He claimed that since the project was abandoned, the flood has turned into a threat and death trap for the unfortunate farmers, especially during the rainy season when they resort to utilizing makeshift canoes to reach their distant farmlands and perish in the process.
The FG should review the circumstances of not completing the dam.
Mrs. Udu Ajah drowned on November 15, 2020, and Mr. Roland Ajah Orji and Mr. Ivoke Ajah Victor perished in a flood on December 8, 2020, while traveling back to their far-off farms in a locally-made canoe. Similar to how Mr. Cletus Okorie died in the same dam related flood on December 20, 2020, further deaths were reported between 2020 and 2022. The Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have received numerous letters from the affected villages pleading for assistance, but to no avail.
Only the Mpu and Okpanku Communities in Enugu State have benefited from NEMA personnel’s occasional visits to the area to assess the situation and later deliver relief supplies; in contrast, the Ngwogwo, Amaokwe, Okue, and Amaeke Communities of the Ivo Local Government Area in Ebonyi State suffered the worst damage and received the least attention. He emphasized the urgent necessity for the Federal Government to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the Ivo Dam project’s failure to be completed as planned in order to avert calamities and the loss of life and property.
Committees on Water Resources and Emergency should be in compliance.
By adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to act quickly to address the situation facing the Ngwogwo, Amaokwe, Okue, and Amaeke Communities of the Ivo Local Government Area in Ebonyi State and provide aid, shelter, and alternative sources of income until the Ivo dam is finished. The Committees on Water Resources and Emergency and Disaster Preparedness were instructed to ensure that the resolution was followed.
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