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Again, farming community in Kano counts losses as River Kura wreaks havoc



Lawan Muhammad,Farmer


By A’isha Ahmad Isma’il

Flooding is a devastating term most farmers in Kano State are familiar with as it has plagued the state for years now, with unprecedented heavy rainfalls and floods wreaking havoc on communities and farmlands.

In 2022, flooding nationwide destroyed N700 billion worth of investment in the agricultural sector, according to the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS).

In Kano, flooding washed away 14,496 farms in five Local Government Areas (LGAswith everything planted in the soil. The recurrence of the flood has been linked to the spillway of Tiga Dam, according to the then Executive Secretary of Kano state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Aliyu Jili.

Jiji said that in 2022, spillage of the Tiga dam destroyed another 16,644 farmlands in some local governments, including Kura.

Although farmers tried using flood resistant enhanced crops, it is of no use to those in Kunshama, in Daneji ward of Kura LGA in Kano State.

Farmers say the powerful waves caused each time the Kura River overflows its banks after the opening of the Tiga Dam have been devastating. And it occurs twice a year, whether it is the rainy and dry season.

Malam Bala working on some part of his farm completely washed by flood

Malam Bala working on some part of his farm completely washed by flood

Opened in 1974, the 178 square kilometers (69 sq mi) dam with a maximum capacity of nearly 2,000,000 cubic meters (71,000,000 cu ft) has been a major source of water to irrigation farmers.

Bala Dare Kunshama, farmer

Bala Dare Kunshama, farmer

However, what was created as a blessing, to Kunshama farmers, is a curse.

The people of Kunshama farming community State are beginning to panic as water from the Kura River washes away millions of naira worth of produce from their farmlands.

Kura LGA is believed to be one of the largest farming communities in the state and this includes both irrigation and wet season farming.

Lawan Muhammed Kunsharma, a rice farmer, said he lost over N3.1 million after the Kura River washed away half his rice seedlings weeks ago, adding that he has been enduring such losses for the past five to six years because there has been no help from anywhere.

Gazing over his devastated farm, he said “as you can see this is my farm, if not for the fact that the water has washed over here, you could have seen that I have plowed the land and planted rice”.

Muhammad said he used to harvest between 200-300 bags of rice per farming season. But now, he barely harvests 20 bags.

Farmers in Jigawa State Appeal for Assistance as Quela Birds Ravage Crops

“That is for the rice, but before the rice we used to plant onions, beans, and green beans”, he said bitterly.

The reporter could feel the anguish and pain in his voice as he spoke.

“We wish the Abba Kabir Yusuf – led Kano government would urgently help us, ” he cried out.

Hadejia Jamaare

Hadejia Jamaare

Lawan Ishaq Kunshama, another farmer in the area, said the flood is the biggest problem faced by the people in Kunshama.

While acknowledging efforts by the local councilor and council chairman, he lamented that “the matter is beyond them.”

The water passes through Kunshama from Tiga Dam to Wudil.

One of the dams

One of the community’s dams

“You see over there? That is what is left of the structures we tried to erect to prevent the water from running into our farm.”

The farmer pointed to a low slab put at the edges of the river with the intent of keeping the waters away from flowing into the farms.

He said they have been trying for four years, but the slabs collapse every time.

Ishaq added that when the water breaks into the farmlands, they must board canoes to rush and salvage rice seedlings to minimize losses that usually run into millions.

“For some of us that usually harvest about 100 bags of rice, when the water breaks in, we barely get 20 bags,” he lamented.

Ishaq also cried out to the government to come to their aid to prevent losses to the farmers and even the government in the form of revenue. (Farmers from rural areas pay produce tax when they take their produce to the markets.)

Bala Dare Kunshama, is another big irrigation farmer affected by the Kura River overflow. He owns six acres of farmland, most of which has been washed off after overflowing water from Kura River flooded his farm.

Looking mournful and dejected, Dare said he suffered unimaginably heavy losses due to the flood.

He stands at the edge of his farm looking from side to side and then gapes deeply into the water that has become his nightmare, a thousand thoughts coursing through his mind.

“This water broke into my farm, all our capital has finished, the water has killed all our efforts and now we have nothing,” he bit down his frustration while narrating his loss.

Unlike Muhammad, Dare said he tried planting tomatoes and onions this irrigation season, but the water has washed away most of it, which he said is worth more than N2.5 million.

Like Muhammed and Ishaq, he and other farmers in the agrarian community of Kunshama have been suffering losses for about six years now. Every year, the devious cycle repeats itself and the farmers are helpless.

Kunshama said he can no longer feed himself and his family and that most people in the community are in tears, but they do not know what to do.

“This is not something we can deal with by ourselves, we need the state government’s help,” he said.


The Village Head of Kushama, Alhaji Garba Aliyu, through a representative, Malam Murtala Shehu, bemoaned the huge flooding challenge faced by the farmers within his domain.

“We need help, my people need help,” he stated.

According to him, his people “are at the brink of losing everything to the water.”

There’s no one else to ask, fully knowing they have done all they could, but the water would not stop.

He and the farmers wished for the Kano State government to prioritize their problem and find a lasting solution soonest.

The farmers are hoping the government could repair the controls of the drain outlet and block the way that serves as a diversion for the water into their farms.

The flooding too challenging for local government – Chairman

Mustapha Abdullahi Rabi’u, the immediate past Kura Local Government Chairman whose tenure ended on Sunday, February 11, 2024 lamented that Dukawa ward has been left to suffer from the floods for years.

“They came to me with the complaint, I was personally there to see the level of destruction it causes,” he said over the phone.

He said the water travels from Tiga, goes through Madobi, spins forward through Gadar Ɗan kifi in Chiromawa, then falls at the bridge separating Kura and Dawakin Kudu before it makes it way to Kunshama.

According to him, he had paid money even from his personal pocket to workers to build a drainage along the waterway to prevent further spillage into farms “but the water is too powerful, especially during the rainy season.”

The area needs two things, he stated.

“First, the drainage systems there need constant clearing, and second the route of the water to Challawa needs to be cleared as well.”

Acknowledging that the very persistent problem is quite challenging, Rabi’u promised to ensure the next local government leadership is made aware of the problem to find lasting solutions to the problem.

80% of Kura/Garun Malam farmers face seasonal losses– Farmers Association

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Kano, through its Secretary, Abdullahi Ali Mai Biredi, affirmed that the flood has been causing losses to residents of Kura and Garun Malam local governments.

He said about 80% of the farmers in that area are affected by seasonal floods, and occasionally by the overflowing of the Kura River.

He said, “if this continues, it will be a threat to food security.”

“Everyone knows how important that area is in rice farming. If this problem persists , I believe it will not only affect food security in Kano but Nigeria as a whole,” he asserted.

Though he admitted that the challenge was brought to their attention late, he noted the need for urgent intervention by the government in addressing the matter in the interest of the nation.

Expert blames poor repair of drainage outlet for the flood

Professor Abba Garba Gaya, a lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture Aliko Dangote University of Science and Technical, Wudil, is an expert that knows about the flooding caused by the Kura River.

He told this reporter that the flooding is caused by a fault in a drain outlet used to control the flow of the water after its release from Tiga dam, close to Kunshama.

“It (drain outlet) developed a fault, so the water is retained in the area making it look like a swamp, and it subsequently overflows into farms,” he said.

He noted that the water that flows from Tiga usually prevents farming activities, especially during the rainy season.

He noted that “farmers are important to the society” adding that “the government has to do something about this problem that has been in existence for about 5 to 6 years.”

He said they are aware of the efforts by the Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority made about a year ago, but it has proven not to be enough.

He believes the work done was shoddy and not properly implemented.

Professor Gaya called on the Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority, Kano State and the federal governments to look into ways of dealing with the problem before it worsens.

Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority blames residents for the floods

The Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority says it is aware of the problem.

When contacted, the authority’s spokesman, Salisu Baba Hamzat, said the area is the last part of their irrigation scheme.

“Our scheme went as far as Ɗanga, that is where it was terminated. But the people living around the area tampered with the scheme because it is at the tail end and water does not reach there before a recent repair we had.”

Hamzat added that the people took advantage of the work being done to vandalize it for personal gains, by removing the cements at the sides of the canals and slabs to use in their homes.

He accused the residents of using the large slabs for personal use, including bathing on them in their bathrooms.

“They caused this problem,” he concluded.

He said the vandalization of the canals made them almost disappear, thus aiding the water to overflow since it can no longer be contained.

The destroyed canals, he said, were created to take unused water by farms in its irrigation scheme back to the main river, and back to Tamburawa River to Ringim, Hadejia and Lake Chad.

He then advised residents of Kunshama to officially write to HJRBA and request the audience to discuss ways to permanently solve the problem.


Isma’il Garba Gwammaja, the Director Public Enlightenment, Kano State Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, said the ministry is not aware of the problem.

“I advise that they should write officially to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, as soon as they do that, our assessment team would be there to assess the cause of the water.”

He said the assessment team would also check if the area was a water passage route or if something else went wrong, including if the water ways was blocked.

Gwammaja added that aside from being called by this reporter, his ministry is not aware of the problem. But he said action would be taken swiftly as soon as the community officially notifies the ministry.

“Our assessment team would give the relevant advice, and then decide how best to handle the situation,” he assured.

“This investigation is supported by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, under its Promoting Democratic Governance in Nigeria Project.”




Tribute To Late Justice Ahmad Belgore




By AbdurRaheem Sa’ad Dembo

Death is an inevitable
visitor. When it strikes its victims it’s usually the end of an era. It was in the morning of Eid-l-Fitri, which was 10th April, 2024 I read the news of the demise of Justice Ahmad Olanrewaju Belgore, who died the previous night. He was a star in the judiciary because of his piety, consistency and fairness.

Many prominent Nigerians have sent their condolences to his family, Ilorin Emirate and Nigeria judiciary. One significant thing about late Justice was the fact that his life as a judge was filled with face of humanity.

Emir of Ilorin Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari and Chairman of Kwara State Traditional Rulers Council in his condolence message described the demise of Justice Belgore as a big loss to the Ilorin Emirate and the Nation at large.

According to the Emir “Belgore was one of the finest justices that the Ilorin Emirate had ever produced, who contributed in no small measures to the growth and development of the judiciary in particular and humanity in general.He prayed that Almighty Allah accept his good deeds, forgive his shortcomings and admit
him into aljannah firdaus.

The Turaki of Ilorin Emirate, Senator Saliu Mustapha has also expressed grief over the death of the legal luminary, described him as a renowned jurist who lived and served the country with his knowledge of the law as an examplary member of the bench.

Senator Mustapha while commiserating with the Nigerian Bar Association on the death of Justice Ahmad Belgore noted that the late jurist contributed immensely to the development of his community and the state in general. Recalling his years of service in the judiciary where he worked with utmost dedication and bowed out in glory last year.

The Senate Committee Chairman on Agric production and Services condoled the Belgore family, The Emir of Ilorin, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union, the people of Balogun Fulani Constituency, Associates and friends of the deceased over the demise of illustrious son of the Ilorin Emirate.He prayed Allah to overlook Justice Belgore misdeeds and grant him eternal rest.

Meanwhile, Kwara state Governor,AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq equally expressed sadness over the death of Justice Belgore who passed on Tuesday night.The Governor sent his heartfelt condolences to the entire Ilorin Emirate, and to the Belgores who have lost a rare gem.His Excellency prayed to Allah to forgive justice Belgore of his shortcomings, and admit him to aljannah firdaus.

The Nigerian Bar Association,The Lagos Lawyers and other prominent Nigerians have also mourned the late Ilorin born jurist, but mentioning all of them may not be necessary.

It is imperative to say that late Justice Ahmad Belgore was an incorruptible judge as he retired meritoriously last year.This was aptly captured by the words of Shehu Bashir,Esq “Justice Ahmad Belgore was a jurist with decency of conscience.He journeyed the delicate profession of adjudication with distinction and came out unblemished.

He was an incredibly tolerant, calm, generous, religious and extremely patient man.His propensity to generosity would almost make you think he had more than he was giving,yet he was undoubtedly incorruptible. And he would never make public his generosity to a third party.He was such a responsible gentleman.”

According to a retired judiciary staff who craved for anonymity, disclosed that in 2015 when his benefit has not been paid,he reached out to late Justice Ahmad Belgore and he gave him 120,000 naira as at that time.

Significantly,the late Justice has been described by many as an embodiment of humility, generosity and accessibility. In the words of Pharm Munirat Bello “He was a great icon of peace and beacon of hope to the less privileged, reliably a dependable pillar of support. His act of kindness could be likened to the scent of the natural musk, very calming yet so impactful. No life hardly gets in contact with him and fail to progress. He was gifted with a divine heart of generosity. An upright jurist to the core, an impeccable symbol of Islam. I have never for once seen him angry to the point of passing derogatory words, he could be stern but in a loving way”

Sheikh Saidu Ibrahim Maimasa is a close associate of late Justice Ahmad Belgore and he is also the Public Relations Officer of Markaz, recounted how helpful he was to him and other friends.He said describing his magnanimity and generosity would be inexhaustible.

He cited a case of a person whose house was forcefully taken and he approached Late Justice for possible redress at the Court of law.He explained that the justice told the man not to go to court, because there was no point going to court and win, and thereafter he lost his life.He later ensured that another house was erected for the man from his personal purse.

Furthermore,A family source disclosed that anything that has to do with Belgore’s family, the late Justice Ahmad Belgore was always at the forefront.Meaning he had imbibed the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in uniting the family.

In unraveling his unwavering support for the less privileged, a young man was said to have gone to his GRA residence and appealed to him that he wanted to go to school but he had no sponsor.The late Justice embraced him and sponsored his education throughout.

Parts of the traits of great men are humility and accessibility. If you are the type that cannot render help to people until an influential person in the society recommends them, then you may be far from circle of great men.Your door should be open for help , that is when you would be able to identify those whole truly need succour .

Justice Ahmad Belgore was never a religious bigot,According to Sheikh Saidu Ibrahim Maimasa “He had an open door policy, because he was very accessible.His security orderly was a Christian from Oyo State and he did not only sponsored his wedding but he was also there in person.He did not discriminate”

He was born on April 18,1953, Belgore studied Law at the prestigious Ahmadu Bello university (ABU),Zaria, where he bagged LL.B (Hons.) with specialisation in Islamic Law 1975 to 1978.He attended the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island,Lagos between 1978/1979 session.

He was the presiding Justice of the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal before his retirement in April,2023.He was also former Chief Justice of the Gambia.Justice Ahmad was younger brother to former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Alfa Belgore.

There is no doubt about the fact that late Justice Ahmad Belgore had lived a life worthy of emulation.He was a regular reciter of holy Quran and a great scholar in his own class.He was the president of Darul-Uloom Alumni Association.

Perfection, they say, belongs to God. I pray Allah forgive his shortcomings and grant him aljannah firdaus.



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A Tribute to Barrister Sulaiman Ahmed Assayouty



Late Barrister Suleiman Ahmad Assayouty


By AbdurRaheem Sa’ad Dembo

Death is a reminder that this world is fleeting and interim. It has yet corroborated the assertion that we are strangers on this planet called, earth just as Barrister Assayouty has left us unannounced through the inevitable shackles of death

I was shocked because he was a brother that I knew very well as an undergraduate in Bayero University, Kano.He wasn’t a regular student as he was preoccupied with hustling in photography business.He usually stationed at the old site of Bayero University Kano where he carried out his business activities

I was at the new site and we had our regular photographer in person of Hope Photo there but whenever we were at the old site we patronised him.In fact his business point was a regular station for Ilorin Emirate students and other customers whenever they did not have lectures.

Since I left the University I have not heard or seeing him until the day he graduated from Law School and the same was posted on the BUK Alumni WhatsApp Group, Ilorin Emirate chapter.I knew within me that day that he struggled to attain the feat and I rejoiced with him through my comments.

We were all in BUK but Assayouty was an hustler and we patronized him not just because he was one of us but he’s very humble. He had a dream and he pursued it with tenacity, hardwork and prayers so he became a certified lawyer eventually. I was not even aware that he later had a Sayuti Cafe on campus,i got to know through BUK Chat zone on Facebook; an online medium for BUK students and others. I’m sure it was after we have left the school he operated the cafe business

From the Account of my friends and brothers that are resident in Kano, they said he was going to a Police Station in Tofa with his wife and his child yesterday 8th April,2024 before they had an accident that claimed his life and injured his wife and his child who are still in the hospital. I pray to Allah for their speedy recovery.

When a promising young man died it is usually tremendously painful because a dream has been shattered and retrogressed.The demise of Assayouty was one too many as it reinvigorated and rejuvenated the futility of this world.He laboured so hard to become a lawyer. He was studying Law in pari passu with hustling. How great would it have been if He had lived long to enjoy the fruit of his struggle?

According to Mallam Zakariya Bayero “we were staying in an uncompleted building together in 1998, he was running a diploma programme then”.

Barrister Yakubu Abdullahi reacted to my Facebook post about his demise thus “May Allah admit him to Jannat, his death is shocking, I know him as a struggling lawyer, despite his commitment to law practice,he has other struggles he did around Janguza axis. May Allah forgive his shortcomings”.

In Quran 62 Verse 8, Allah says “Say, indeed, the death from which you flee.Indeed it will meet you”. Today it has met our brother but our solace is that Barrister Sulaiman Assayouty died as a Muslim in the holy month of Ramadan, he never tarnished the image of his family and lived a dignified life.May Allah grant him aljannah firdaus and give his immediate family, the Ilorin Emirate BUK Alumni and friends the fortitude to bear the huge loss.

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Kano Water Scarcity: How Long is Governor Abba’s ‘State of Emergency’?




_By Misbahu El-Hamza_

Kano State makes headlines almost every year, and coincidentally, during Ramadan for water scarcity. The frequent headlines are often attributed to electricity system failures, which disrupt water pumping, or equipment faults at water treatment plants, exacerbating the situation.

About ten months ago, upon taking office, Kano State Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf declared a State of Emergency to address water scarcity across the state, urging for patience and maximum cooperation from residents. Although I haven’t seen or reviewed the governor’s plan during this emergency, I recall that resolving Kano’s water issues was one of his campaign promises.

I remember when the governor inspected the Challawa Water Treatment Plant in May 2023 and expressed dissatisfaction with its condition. It was said that only two of the six pumping machines of the facility were functioning at the time.

Following that, the governor give a one-week ultimatum to the Kano State Water Board to submit its demands in order to end the water shortage in the state. There was a sigh of relief by the public. Personally, I had hoped that we’re finally getting over this hardship.

Unfortunately, nearly a year now, the situation is not only prevalent in urban areas but is even worse in rural communities. We are not only seeing those trending headlines of water scarcity in Kano, we’re experiencing the brunt of it.

Recently, the price of a 25-liter jerrican of borehole water in Kano surged by ₦50 to ₦150. Someone told me that he bought one at ₦200 around Kurmi market. In areas like Hotoro, Nassarawa LGA, where I reside near Kumbotso LGA housing the Challawa water plant, prices rose from ₦40 to ₦70 or higher. The Chalawa water plant is believed to have the capacity of supply the whole of Kano with water, but we rely heavily on individual boreholes for water, with little to no infrastructure connecting us to the water plant.

While I resides in a suburb and can afford buying a jerrican of what seems to be clean water, in the rural areas where I often visit for work, the situation is dire. Many communities lack access to clean water sources, with broken or dried-up boreholes and wells being common. Residents, including young children, often resort to fetching water from stagnant ponds shared with cows, donkeys, camels, and even dogs. This water is what they use for all daily activities, posing serious health risks. It’s evident that both state and local governments have neglected these communities, offering little to no solutions for their water woes. Where you see boreholes or wells in these communities, they are either constructed by individual donors or (charity) organizations and a handful ones by politicians.

Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf must be aware of the current water crisis in both rural and urban Kano. However, the pressing question remains: how long will his State of Emergency address the suffering caused by the persistent water scarcity or total lack of it across the state?

Three days ago, I heard a jingle apologizing for the water scarcity in Kano metropolitant, blaming the repair works at Challawa and Tamburawa treatment plants. It’s said to have been sponsored by Kano State Water Board. To me, the jingle suggests the governor partly fulfilled his pledge, now it’s the board’s turn to restore water supply. Or at least that’s my assumption.

I know this isn’t the first time the the board apologises. In 2022, the then Managing Director of the board was quoted apologizing to Kano residents for failing to supply water during Ramadan. At that time, 25-liters jerrican of borehole water cost between ₦30 – ₦100.

I remain hopeful that before his remaining three years expire, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf will emerge as Kano’s hero by addressing the water scarcity issue, providing relief to the growing population, including those in rural areas.

As the governor continues to address our water problem within this emergency period, I hope the demands the water board submitted to him as requested include: establishing new plants and resaviors or enhancing existing ones, extending mainline pipes to suburbs and rural areas, ensuring independent power supply for the plants, and securing permanent employment for existing and additional staff. If the board manages its expenses independently, perhaps shifting it to the state payroll would improve also efficiency.

With reliable service and effective system in place, the board and the state government should be rest assured that Kano people will be more willing to pay for water, and the board does not need to heavily depend for its revenue from the industries it diverts our little water to.

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