Tuesday, 21 August, 2~~ S
"Katsina farmers urge FG to complete Zobe dam· reporter expressed concem over tht' abandonment of tht' projf"Cl Tht'yblamed tht' ff'rler.al govemmOl t ofinsinct'rity to utilize tht' project. regretting why govf'fT1Jllmt cannol put the project inlo propt'r use 29 years after its completion. Ont'oflhe fannt'f'S, Alhaji Sule Mai-Goro
OR Ka1.5ina irrigation fannen, the purpose for the construction ofZobc Dam was
defeated following the neglector the project 29 years ;after its completion. Locat«l in Dutsin-t.ia
Iocal govemment. the dam was constructed to supply drinking water to inhabitants ofDutsin-ma
and emiroos and to also serve as Cltal)'51 for irrigation farming to
the community. A visit to Zobe irrigation site by; this reponer revc:aled that mmr farmen; have deserted the site dul': to non-utiliution afthe projOC1. l1 was In-mt that most oftile fanners particularly youths ha\'~ complctt:lyabandoned farmingacthi -
ties and devdoped the culture of migration 10 urban areas in search of other jobs. Daily Tnut gathered that over 2,000 farmers who earlier besieged the dam site hoping to rngag'l' in irrigation (arming in thr- uta have
dispersed since th e dam could not pump wa ter for inigation due to governml'nt's inability [0 complete the projecL Presently, very few farmen are seen in the area dependlngon the we[ sason farming activities at the si te. Residenl5oftheover 100 villages within and around DutsinMlilocal government were warming up [0 embark on irrigation follOwing the construction of the dam and wh en utiliud fuUy, thrice the number would be engaged in ilTi gation activities that will afford them the opportunity to go into double or~en triple cropping_ Some farmers, wh o spoke to DDiI)' Tnur on th e project. said farmers from other local go\'emmentscould also be attracted to the si te by the lime the pnlject is fully utiliUd.
AlHAJI Amlnu Mal Goro Dutsin-Ma Daily Trusf noted that the only communities thal are presently farming around thedam sile includt' Dutsin-Ma lown, Katsalle, Taka-Tsaba, Ruwa-Gwanjo, Tabobi, Zango, Dan-Tsakiri and Gobirawa among others.. E\'en at that, the farmers do nOl make usc oflhe dam as [hey an: only inlo wet fanning. And the major farm produce th ey arecultivating at the site include ri ce, wheat, onion, tomato, okra, chilly and vegetables. The harvested fann produce are usually transported to th t' south ern part o (the country where they are sold. Howt'ver, follOWing liS underutiiiz.ation for several years, some of the chan· nels constructed but nol co m pleted have ~un to collapse, wh ile other facili ties particularly those made (mm iron a rt' rtlliling. It was further observed that most of the Slructures at the sitt' have bet-n taken over by reptiles.. Farmers interviewed by this
said, Ml ha\~ bet-n culth'al-
ing over 20 h«ters for manyyean; befon! the site dete.riorated. But at presenl,l am onlyculti\'3ting few hmer:s at the site. Manyof my colleagues have abandoned fanning aaivities for lack of govemmt'nt conce.m on the dam.ai.Gom added that farme.rs art' ~ of agitating for the complt'tion ofZobe dam prajm, saying they have lodged several complaints to both federal and stale go\~rnments "ithoul any positive result, adding. - We h ne channeled our complaints through the local and stale governmenls on se\'eral occasions but up till now, nothing has been done 10 address th e situation, Our main concern is to ha~ tht' irrigation site full), utilized. Farming activities would boom at the site.. Whenever we adiieve that, many people would be attracted to irrigation farmM ing. Another farmer. Alhaji Aminu Mal·Goro Dutsin-Ma., said M\\,t'
are only cultivating farmlands that an:close to the water. Since the channels have not bet-n completed, the dam cannot pump watef [0 Ih~ farms fur irrigation. We also lack training in modem fanning meth ods indudingshifting f."1nning. h lost of us cannot afford locon· tinue farming at the site because of M our poor economic slatus. Headded that until federal government comes \0 lhei r aid by putting the irrigation site into proper use, farming activities In th e area will not progress, adding. "Our major problt'm at present is the non-completion and utilization ofthechannds. Most of tht' channels ha\'t' coUapsed ~~n before they art' completed.. Onecan only usc water pumping machines [0 pump lI';lter whkh will cost a lolIbr.thim Yusuflamt'nted forfei tin g his land for the construction of th e dam , adding, - Whe n government approached us with the intent 10 acqUire our fannlands for lobe dam project. we all thoughl it was suious, but now wt' are convinced that government wasn't serious about it.He said no seriuus govem ment can abandon such a project aftt'r invesling huge amount of money and after reaching complelion level, regrelling that MWe rather con linut' with our local fanning on our farmlands than hand th t'm over to the federal government for this irrigation projf"Ct, whi ch it has abandoned for 29 years now." MWe want work 10 resume at th e sile so that the project can be fully utili1.ed. Farmers should also enjoy the dividends o f democracy being f')ttended by tht' government, Comple tion of this project is our only pride and anything other than this would be wasteful drort and resourcu~ he opined..