By Abdulaziz Ibrahim Hassan
Gombe State government has expressed its commitment to revitalizing Balanga Dam to provide portable drinking water, enhance dry farming, increase job opportunities for youths and economic growth of the state.
The Commissioner, Ministry of Water, Environment, and Forest Resources, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’idu Fawu, made this known during a comprehensive tour of the Balanga Dam and its associated irrigation facilities in Balanga Local Government Area of the State.
According to Alhaji Mohammed Sa’idu Fawu, the visit aims to address concerns raised by local government stakeholders on the inactivity of the irrigation scheme and find immediate solutions to revive farming and irrigation activities in the area.
He described the 39-year-old Dam as a significant investment by the Gombe State Government, with the potential to create jobs, boost commercial activities, and increase internally generated revenue for the state.
Fawu assured irrigation farmers and stakeholders of swift action, emphasizing the importance of resuming irrigation activities in line with the current administration’s commitment to delivering democracy’s benefits to the electorate.
Following the tour, a roundtable discussion was held with the District Head of Gelengu, Manu Yerima Jp, and leaders of the Balanga Local Government Irrigation Farmers Association to address the issues causing the inactivity of the irrigation scheme.
The District Head of Gelengu, Manu Yerima Jp, stressed the significance of the ministry’s visit in resolving underlying issues and reviving irrigation activities, urging irrigation farmers to unite, resolve their differences, and commit to paying water rates as scheduled, in support of the government’s efforts.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Danladi Adamu, also highlighted the importance of unity among the farmers and the timely payment of water rates, assuring them that plans were underway to harness the full potential of the Dam for the benefit of the general public.
The Commissioner was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, the Project Manager of the Balanga Dam Irrigation Scheme, and technical staff from the Directorate of Water Resources.