Some Engineers have called on the Federal Government to step up efforts in the funding and application of data and technology in the monitoring  of dams, other water projects and management across the country.

They made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the sideline of the 5th Nigerian Institution of Water Engineers International (NIWE) Water Conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

Dr Valerie Judit Omale said the major challenge facing the Lower Benue River Basin Authority was funding.

“There are many projects we have started, especially the construction of Dams, control of irrigation projects, etc, trying to make sure that underground water is safe, sufficient and clean for the people.

“Before it would be completed, you would find out that resources appropriated don’t come every year and because of that, some projects are abandoned and some take so much time to be completed.

“The Ministry of Water Resources and the River Basins are working tirelessly to make sure Nigerians have safe and portable drinking water for their industrial and domestic use.

“We are calling for more funding for River Basins so that we will be able to produce enough water through the construction of Dams and stop the wastage of water,” Omale said.

Omale is the Director of Engineering in the Lower Benue Basin Development Authority in Makurdi, Benue.

Similarly, Mr Greg Chido-Amajuoyi said dams in the country were not being monitored to assess their levels of performance and stability.

“Some of our dams are over 60 years old, and if a dam collapses, the consequences can be catastrophic. Thus, Federal Government agencies should emphasise that every dam should be instrumented.

“It is by so doing that we will be able to measure the effects or issues on them; that is whether the stability factor at the time of construction or design are still effective or not.

“Without proper monitoring, it would be difficult to know the level of sediment or sedation.

“So it is important that there ought to be a giant monitoring scheme, follow up by the Ministry of Water Resource and Integrated Water Agencies.

“It could be annual or biannual; but by and large, assessment of all dams is very important and should be taken into consideration,” Chido-Amajuoyi stressed.

Another Engineer, Meshak Alfa, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Jos, said that some rivers needed modification to reduce the extent of flooding via their channels.

According to him, some rivers accumulate sediments and also vegetation along the river coast that stand in the way of the flow of water.

“So if those vegetation are removed from the water coast it will reduce the extent of flooding in the country.

“Those were some of the results of the research we did via geographic information system and River analysis system on flood, using the Ofu River.

“It is necessary to state here that research is very important, because it will facilitate the applicability of its findings using technology in solving problems, including water supply.

” Also from research, we can go onto capacity building for people who are not immediately involved in the research, which will lead to collaboration with government, agencies, NGOs and ultimately lead to successful results ,” Alfa said.

NAN reports that the exhibition was part of the 3-day conference of NIWE, where partners displayed their wears ranging from water pipes of all sizes to other water management-related equipment. (NAN)

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