The Kwara state government said on Sunday it would meet with fish farmers working around the Asa Dam water plant this week over alleged ongoing damage to water facilities in the area.
State Water Resources Commissioner Alhaji Wahab Femi-Agbaje said the ministry leadership would meet with the fish farmers to address the issue of damage to water facilities in the area, which could disrupt water supplies to the communities. inhabitants of the metropolis of Ilorin.
The ministry alleged that damage to waterworks caused by the activities of fish farmers could soon truncate the water supply to most parts of metropolitan Ilorin, if not reduced.
He said: “Fish farmers’ activities over the years have affected the raw water supply to the Asa Dam Works treatment plant,” according to a statement from the Water Resources Commissioner.
“Let it be recorded that the Asa Dam Reservoir is not intended for fishing activities. It is only intended for the retention of raw water for use all year round for the treatment of the inhabitants of the metropolis of Ilorin and the surrounding settlements.
“However, fishing activities and the discharge of effluents from these activities have been on the agenda in recent years.
“The effluent discharge has now reached a situation in which our treatment plant can no longer cope with it because the sedimentation basins are loaded after the coagulation processes.
“They collapse due to the load on the laminar plate, the filter sand media are blocked, reducing the rate of percolation. The process equipment components are damaged.
“This requires a drastic measure to save the population of Ilorin metropolis and surrounding settlements from irregular water supply. So we have a meeting with the fish farmers to find a lasting solution to this. Public interest is paramount at any time.
In a reaction, the president of the state catfish breeders association, Sulyman Buhari, denied the allegation that aquaculturists were causing damage to hydraulic equipment, urging the government to exercise caution in its action and to consider the economic benefits of fish production in the state.
“I think the government should be very critical of its decision because of the economic effect it would have on the state.
“I don’t think the activities of farmers are causing havoc in the water, but it is necessary to sit down and find a lasting solution to the problem which will be how to properly channel the water or how to entry and exit could be done in such a way that it will not cause much damage to the consumable water in the dam,” he said.
All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without the prior express written permission of PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]