The water level at the Kangimi Dam, located at Kangimi and other adjoining villages in Igabi Local Government Areas of Kaduna State has dropped significantly in the last two weeks alone.
The dam, which is about 37 km from Kaduna city is located along Kaduna-Jos road and was formerly known as the Baban Rafi River. The River was however dammed in 1977 by the Kaduna State Government to meet the city water needs and for irrigation activities in the State.
The water capacity of the dam is 59.2 million cubic metre, covering a distance of about 9 kilometres from one bank of the dam across the other.
The drop in water level is already causing panic among irrigation farmers in the area.
The site of the dam is also host to the Tomato Jos Farming & Processing Limited owned by an American entrepreneur, Mira Mehta, and is rumoured to be a likely site for other investors.
The presence of Tomato Jos is already attracting more local farmers to the area.
Farmers like Nasiru Abdullahi, Haruna Gombo Mohammed, Alhaji Wada Haruna from Maraban Jos in Kaduna State and Muhammed Sani from Kaduna City who are already cultivating tomato at the site, said the water level dropped considerably in one week alone when the dam was opened to supply water to Kaduna City.
The American female farmer said one of the things that attracted them to the location was the fact that it was next to a dam. She said ideally, they would have preferred to cultivate the land downstream, but that there was a large community living there and it was challenging for them to find land to farm.
“If there is going to be 5, 000 hectares allocation going to another company and they also plan to do irrigation farming, then we have to have a clear-cut conversation on how to get the water allocated,
“Again, if two private companies are using the water during the dry season, what happens to the smallholder farmers using the water?
“These are the questions the private sector investors, the communities and the government would have to sit down to figure out. How much water is really in the dam? How much agriculture can the water support and how can government make access to the water fair?” She told Daily Trust at the dam’s site.
She said government needed to dredge the dam to increase its size, adding that government also needed to do a full survey of who is using the water and for what purpose based on how much water is available, how much water was used and how much is left over for additional investors.