The house of representatives has asked the ministry of water resources to complete the abandoned Ivo dam project.

The lower legislative chamber passed the motion on Tuesday following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Makwe Makwe, a lawmaker representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo federal constituency of Ebonyi state.

An investigation by TheCable had revealed how the project has been abandoned for over 10 years despite that N4.5 billion was budgeted for it since 2012.

While moving the motion, Makwe said the dam is at the confluence of Ivo and Ikeh rivers at the border of Ivo and Aninri LGAs in Ebonyi and Enugu, respectively.

He said the federal government started the dam project for irrigation for farming, fishery, electricity generation, and to enable the host communities “engage in intensive cultivation of edible and industrial crops, food processing, agro-allied businesses, and marketing of farm products”.

He said the project has been “abandoned on account of lack of funding, with the embankment having attained an advanced stage of construction and has since been impounding water at the upstream side, especially during the rainy seasons”.

“On the abandonment of the project, without the spillway being in place, the farmlands and rural settlements in the upstream communities of Ngwogwo, Amaokwe, Okue and Amaeke have been inundated and sacked by flood, which has prior to the construction of the dam never experienced such for ages,” he said.

“Over 40,000 acres of arable farmland and rural settlement communities have remained permanently flooded till date as a result of the dam embankment, and during the rainy seasons, the flood gets higher and spreads more to inland communities, thereby sacking the rural dwellers and inundating farmlands, rendering over 10,000 households homeless and inundating about 70 percent of their farmlands, such that most of the people are left homeless with no source of income since farming is their main source of livelihood.

“Since the abandonment, the flood has become a menace and death trap to the hapless farmers, especially during the rainy season, as they resort to using improvised canoes to reach the small farmlands very far away not, covered by the flood, and in the process, some get drowned.

He added that the federal government needs to “urgently review the circumstances surrounding the non-completion” of the project.

The motion was passed when it was put to a voice vote by Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house.

The house subsequently asked the ministry of water resources to “audit the Ivo dam project contract performance to complete the project in earnest and as a matter of urgent national importance”.

The lawmakers also mandated the committees on water resources, and emergency and disaster preparedness to ensure compliance.

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