Typha grass has blocked irrigation canals at Kirikasamma and Guri Council Areas in Jigawa, threatening farming and fishing in the agrarian communities.
When the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) monitored the situation on Thursday, the grass had blocked the Hadejia Jama’are River at Fandum, Kadira, Abur, among others, hampering fishing activities and harbouring dangerous reptiles.
A rice farmer in Fandum, Mallam Bala Hassan, told NAN that the grass had blocked the waterways and cut down the amount of irrigation water needed for crops to grow.
“ The blockage of the Hadejia River has decreased our production capacity because we need to water our crops especially in the dry season,” he said.
Mallam Habibu Adamu, a maize farmer in Abur, said clearing the grass manually was difficult because of its strength and reptiles hidden in it.
He said typha grass was also responsible for the recurring flood in the area.
“ Guri and Kirikasamma are riverine areas with about 70 percent of their lands submerged by water, especially during rainy season.
“ Even last week, many farmlands were destroyed by floods in Abur,” Adamu said.
When contacted, the Secretary, Kirikasamma Council, Alhaji Abdullahi Yusuf, said the agricultural department of the council recently had an emergency meeting on the menace.
“The meeting is in continuation of our last year’s efforts to clear the typha grass from streams and other waterways.
“ In 2017, Kirikasamma in collaboration with the state Ministry of Environment, purchased seven canoes, 1, 000 cutlasses, hoes, ropes, wheel barrows, and gave same to community based organizations to clear the weed.
“ The problem with Typha grass is that it grows fast, but we are determine to do even more now within our meager resources,” Yusuf said.
He said that clearing typha grass was a herculean task beyond the capacity of both the state and local governments.
“Typha grass is very stubborn and it grows as high as 30 meters on the waterways our people use for fishing and farming.
“ When you see the size of the grass, the large area it occupies and of course the dangerous reptiles that it hosts, you will agree with me that there is an urgent need for the Federal Government to intervene.
“ A couple of months back, some expatriates had suggested the use of a chemical to kill the weed, but the idea was rejected because the chemical could poison the water which is used for fishing and irrigation,” he said.
The scribe called on the Federal Government to urgently intervene in clearing the grass which remained a threat to the socioeconomic activities of people in the area. (NAN)