The Board and Management of the Hydro Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPADEC) has commenced inspection of ecological problems threatening communities in Benue State, for immediate action.
The Board Chairman, Terfa Ityav; Managing Director, Mr Abubakar Yelwa; board members; and top management staff, were all on the inspection team.
Yelwa said the HYPADEC would address ecological, environmental degradation, poverty, youth unemployment, women empowerment and improve power supply in the eight states under the commission.
Yelwa said that although their mandate was to end the recurrent cases of flooding, within the communities located in the States, in the interim the commission would focus attention on areas that need urgent intervention.
“We are going to address ecological challenges, environmental degradation, youth unemployment, women empowerment, social emaciation of the environment.
“We will also address issues of steady power supply in our communities, so that communities suffering as a result of overflow of dams and are yet to get power will have.
“Our mandate is to end the recurrent cases of flooding within these communities,” he explained.
On the Idye basin ecological problem, Yelwa said that an immediate short term solution would be provided to mitigate the effect of flooding on Achussa, Nyman Layout, Genabe Phase 1 communities, before the start of the rainy season.
He said HYPADEC would work with officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Railway Corporation to build a big water channel, under the rail line, that could accommodate all the volume of water in the area.
Also speaking, Ityav said that HYPADEC was saddled with the responsibility of handling all ecological problems caused by the overflow of dams.
Ityav assured that urgent steps would be taken to address some of the critical ecological challenges in the member states.
Earlier, the Benue State Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Dondo Ahire, commended Federal Government for constructing the phase 1 of the Idye basin ecological drainage channel, but regretted that the second and third phases were yet to commence.
The delegation had earlier paid a courtesy call on Gov. Samuel Ortom, during which he tasked them to assiduously implement projects and programmes that would end the sufferings of Benue communities.
Ortom also promised to support the Commission in the actualisation of its mandate in the state.
Flooding has become a yearly event in Benue, as hundreds of households are affected annually by the challenge.
By Emmanuel Antswen