The Chairman of the Governing Council of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, HYPPADEC, Joseph Ityav, said at least 350 lives were lost to boat mishaps in Nigeria in 2020.
The disclosure was made by Ityav at Malale in Borgu Local Government of Niger State during the flag-off of the cutting of tree logs and removal of huge debris on Kainji and Shiroro lakes.
He said the project was being executed in partnership with the National Inland Waterways Corporation, NIWC.
Ityav blamed most of the mishaps on poor conditions of boats, overloading, unavailability of life jackets and the preponderance of tree logs on the waterways.
According to him, the cutting of the tree logs and removal of debris would reduce boat mishaps and the hardships faced by riverine communities.
In his remarks, Alhaji Abubakar Yelwa, Managing Director of HYPPADEC, said the Commission would address ecological and environmental issues and loss of lives, which resulted from the construction of the Kainji and Shiroro dams.
Yelwa commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the National assembly for signing the Act setting up HYPPADEC, which began operations in 2020 to address challenges of impacted communities.
For Senator Abdullahi Sabi, Senate Deputy Chief Whip, HYPPADEC’s projects would help to address challenges faced by communities in the hydro-power generating areas.
Sabi, who represented Senator Gabriel Suswan, Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, said the National Assembly would continue to sKainji Dam was constructed on River Niger in 1964 at a cost of $209 million and was inaugurated in 1968.
Shiroro Dam was constructed also on the River Niger, in Kaduna State, southwest of Abuja in 1983.