It’s Fake News, There’s No Embankment Collapse at Kainji Dam, Says Commission

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Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has advised the general public to ignore the fake news about the embankment collapse of Kainji Dam, assuring that the dam is safe.

The commission explained that what is “currently happening at Kainji is a well planned and professionally managed annual to periodic reservoir management practice of safe and controlled spilling of computed volumes of water through the dam spillway for safety and other well designed and thought out operational reasons.”

ICRC noted that embankment collapse would have resulted in what is called a dam break wave, adding that embankment collapse at Kainji Dam would probably be the biggest disaster to hit Africa since the turn of the century.

“”It is important to inform Nigerians what an embankment collapse means and its implications.

“Kainji Dam impounds over 16 billion litres of water. Embankment collapse means the dam structure is breached leading to loss of containment of the impounded water.

“Embankment collapse will result in what is called a dam break wave. Most empirical hydraulic models will show that everything probably some decent distance on both banks of the Niger from Kanji dam location to the sea will be washed away.

“Embankment collapse at Kainji Dam will probably be the biggest disaster to hit Africa since the turn of the century – destructive power of water.

“A dam break wave is very similar and destructive as a Tsunami wave but is not of seismic origin as a Tsunami.

“We are not sure any person would wish this type of disaster on his or her country or continent,” the commission pointed out.

ICRC, in a statement by its Director-General/Chief Executive Officer in the Presidency, Chidi Izuwah Snr, described the story of embankment collapse as “very dangerous fake news.”

Izuwah attested to the “integrity of Kainji Dam,” saying the dam is “intact and the facility is operating flawlessly and injecting lowest-cost power to the national grid.”

According to him, “During our last compliance monitoring visit before the COVID-19 era, all aspects of the dam were inspected by us and where appropriate function tested.

“We thoroughly inspected the Dam Crest, Reservoir, Embankment Rip Rap, Dam Toe, Toe Drain, Piezometers, Spillway, Stilling Basin, Power House etc.

“Furthermore, Kainji has one of the most sophisticated real-time inflow prediction and reservoir basin management systems. This computer-based system with feeder monitors on the upstream and downstream stretches is designed to ensure world-class hydraulics flow management for dam, upstream and downstream safety management.”

He told the general public to discountenance the fake news, explaining that as part of the Power Sector reforms, Kainji Hydropower Facilities were concessioned to Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited.

He added that Mainstream’s responsibility includes safe custody of the entire dam structure and appurtenances.

“ICRC, being the statutory agency responsible for pre- and post-contract regulation of PPPs and concessions has continued regular technical and other compliance monitoring of the Kainji Concession,” Izuwah assured.

The director-general advised Nigerians to check the status of each PPP and concession project on ICRC disclosure portal via www.icrc.gov.ng or directly with the commission to avoid making reckless statements.

Idowu Sowunmi