By Isa Lapai, Minna
The host communities where the Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station in Niger State in sited has called on the Federal Government to pay them compensation to enable them to relocate upstream.
Speaking on behalf of the communities, District Head of Gurumana in Shiroro Local Government, Alhaji Aliyu Umaru, said the 40 communities located both in Shiroro and Munya local government areas of the state, said the resettlement was imperative owing to flood from the dam.
“We want the Federal Government to pay us for our economic trees and farmland so that we can move away from the dam. We were paid little or nothing when the dam was constructed by government in 1990,’’ he said.
He said that the devastating effect of flood on the communities had made life unbearable because of water released from the dam, saying, saying “sometimes our houses and farmlands have been submerged because of the dam.’’
He decried a situation where relief from the federal and state governments meant for the communities were diverted and as a result the people got little or nothing.
He urged the North South Power Company, operators of the Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station, to employ youths from the communities as part of its social responsibility.
Responding, the state coordinator of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Alhaji Mohammed Manbo, said that the commission would soon begin operation.
The five states of HYPPADEC, that is Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Plateau and Kebbi, are already meeting with the Federal Government to ensure that the commission took off soon. HYPPADEC is saddled with the responsibility of developing the communities within the Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro dams by providing socio-economic amenities in the areas.
Mambo appealed to the affected communities not to take the law into their hands because of the devastating effect of flood.