Host communities threaten to stop Zugeru dam commissioning

The host communities to Zungeru hydro power dam in Niger state have threatened to stop the federal government from commissioning the Zungeru Hydro electric Power dam. compensations are not fully paid and other demands not met.

The communities under the auspices of the Coalition of Shiroro Associations in Niger state stated this weekend at a press briefing in Kuta.

Addressing journalists, the spokesman of the association, Comrade Salis Sabo, said the communities are also demanding for the change of name of the dam from ‘Zungeru dam to Manta dam.’

He said: ” It is unfair to deny our communities the name and give it to Zungeru, a town that is several miles away from the dam and do not form part of the host communities. It is also pertinent to point out the fact that Zungeru town is in Wushishi local government of Niger state while the dam is located in Shiroro local government area.”

He said the people in addition to going to court, are also mobilising for mass occupation of all the dam premises in protest of neglect bythe federal government despite the hardship caused by the activities of construction work on the project.

He said legal action and mass protest have become imperative after exhausting all constitutional avenues of seeking redress.

He said: “We will also petition the World Bank on the inability of federal government to fulfil its side of terms and condition for the loan obtained in an International Financial Institution to finance Zungeru Hydroelectric dam project as it pertains to host communities.”

In his remark, the village head of Bawy, who is also victim of the activities of the dam, Malam Isa Usman Kuta, lamented that over fifty communities were affected by Zungeru dam project, adding that properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.

He said many people have died as a result of trauma they went through due to nonpayment of their compensation and called on the federal government to come to their aid.