Kangimi Dam has seen a drastic decrease in the water level over the last two weeks. The dam is located along Kaduna-Jos road in Kangimi village about 37 kilometers from Kaduna City The Kaduna State government dammed the Baban Rafi River in 1977 so as to meet the water needs and improve the irrigation activities in Kaduna State.
The dam has a water capacity of 59.2 million cubic meters and it covers a distance of about 9 kilometers from one bank of the dam to the other. The dam has attracted several farming industries to the area because of the large quantity of water needed to run a large scale farm.
One of the biggest farms in the region is the American owned Tomato Jos Farming & Processing Limited. The success of Tomato Jos in the region has encouraged other local farmers within and around Kaduna City to establish their farms there.
Not long ago, the residents around the dam had implored the state government to renovate the dam as cracks had appeared and there were fears that the dam would collapse. The Kangimi dam was opened to supply water to Kaduna city a few weeks ago and there has been a drastic decrease in the water level since then.
According to local farmers from Kaduna City, Maraban-Jos and the Kangimi villagers like Haruna Mohammed and Mohammed Sani, the water level dropped considerably in one week alone when the dam was opened to supply water to Kaduna.
The owner of Tomato Jos, Mira Mehta, explained that she was interested in establishing the farm in the location because of the proximity of the Kangimi dam, this would help improve the quality of tomatoes that would be produced on the farm. Even though, she would have preferred to have situated the farm downstream but a large community lived there. This has also prevented more investors to come to the area as it is quite challenging to find land to farm.
If there is going to be 5,000 hectares allocation going to another company and they also plan to do irrigation farming, then we have to have a clear-cut conversation on how to get the water allocated,
“Again, if two private companies are using the water during the dry season, what happens to the smallholder farmers using the water?
“These are the questions the private sector investors, the communities and the government would have to sit down to figure out. How much water is really in the dam? How much agriculture can the water support and how can government make access to the water fair?” She said