Niger indigenes demand Zungeru Dam’s name change to Shiroro Dam ll

Indigenes of Shiroro in Shiroro local government area of Niger state have asked the federal government to change the name of Zungeru dam to Shiroro dam ll.

The concerned indigenes under the auspices of the Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA) in a statement issued in Abuja by its spokesperson, Salis M. Sabo, Thursday, said the name change of the dam will ensure that their rights and privileges as a people are not shortchanged.

Blueprint recall that the construction of Zungeru Dam was awarded in 2013 by the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration. The hydroelectric power station is a 700 megawatts (940,000 hp) project.

“The foreign experts who came to look into the possibility of constructing another Dam following the directional flow of Shiroro Dam I could not understand the difficult terrain of the land.

“They also could not at that time find any shelter in the hamlets and thatched settlements that were close to the location of the Dam which were generally under Shiroro Local Government. Therefore, their next place of resort for shelters was Zungeru which was once the Capital of the then Northern Protectorate.

“There the foreign workers found railway station and other amenities, which could aid their activities and that is why they made Zungeru the center of their operations. Hence the name Zungeru Dam.

“Therefore, in the beginning the name came as a result of neither mistake nor deliberate attempts to confiscate the National Assets from the people of Shiroro but as a result of the quest for administrative convenience by the foreign experts.

“These may easily be forgiven because these could have been done with utmost good faith without knowing that Zungeru was entirely under a different Local Government from the Local Government where the Dam is actually located.

“Our people living in the upstream have been forced to vacate their ancestral homes to give way for the construction of the dam. Others have lost their lives and livelihood due to the recent preliminary blockage of the dam. The difficult upheaval of livelihood, loss of food security, and other dam-induced impacts to our physical, cultural and spiritual well-being cannot be quantified.”

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