Hundreds of irrigation farmers using water from Musawa dam in Katsina State are counting their losses following sudden drying up of the dam. The crops at various stages of maturity have wilted, forcing some of the farmers to commence early harvest to salvage what they could of the crops.
Alhaji Idris Abdullahi, the Chairman of Musawa Irrigation Farmers Association, said on Monday that more than 150 farmers were affected. Abdullahi put the estimated losses incurred by the farmers to around N30 million, and loss of jobs to about 1,000 farm hands. He said about 150 hectares of tomato, potato, wheat, maize, onion and other vegetables were damaged.
The chairman said that the dam, constructed 60 years ago was only dredged once, and called on the Katsina State Government to intervene. He said that the government should dredge the dam before the rains set in, and support farmers affected to cushion their losses. The chairman described the dam as a major source of employment to people in the area, and said it should be salvaged to save the people from penury.
He however said that the Katsina Agricultural and Rural Development Authority had pledged to drill wash bores to assist the irrigation farmers.