By Rabiu Sani-Ali
Farmers in Bagwai Local Government Area, Kano State have called on the state government to rehabilitate the Watari Irrigation dam to enable them cultivate their farmlands during the dry season.
A cross section of the farmers made the call in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday at Sector 1, Water Irrigation Project in Bagwai.
Alhaji Danladi Yahaya, Chairman, Farmers Association in Bagwai, also called for the construction of access road to ease movement of their farm produce to the market.
“Apart from water scarcity, lack of access road is also affecting our activities.
“We call on the relevant authorities to rehabilitate the reservoir and canals as well as construct access road in the area,” Yahaya said.
Malam Salisu Dandawak, a farmer said the call was imperative to ensure that the reservoir and canals under the irrigation scheme were rehabilitated to supply water to the farmlands.
Dandawaki said that farmers in the area had relied on rain water to cultivate their farmlands, which limited their activities to rainy season.
He said that water should be released from the Bagwai dam to feed the reservoir and supply the farmlands under Sector-1 of the Watari Irrigation scheme.
“Farmers relied on rain-fed agriculture, water should be released from the dam to enable us cultivate our farmlands during the dry season.
“Rehabilitation of the reservoir and canals will facilitate supply of water to the farms for dry season activities,” he said.
Mr Nasiru Sabiu, another farmer, said that the lack of water supply from the reservoir was discouraging as small holder farmers were forced to abandon their farms during the dry season.
Sabiu said absence of tube wells was making it difficult for them to cultivate their farmlands during dry season.
Also commenting, Mr Bashir Rabiu-Kwa, the Project Manager, Watari Irrigation scheme, said the release of water to the plantation was stopped to pave way for the maintenance work.
He said that the project was designed to open up 1,562 hectares of irrigable lands, adding that 962 hectares had been developed and cultivated by farmers.
Rabiu-Kwa explained that of the 962 developed hectares; 162 were under Sector-1, 168 under Sector-2, 217 under Sector-3, 72 under Sector-4 and 273 under Sector-5.
The manager said work on the development of the remaining 600 hectares of land was currently ongoing under sector-6 and sector-7 of the project.