Presdency: Kainji Dam is safe

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The Presidency on Monday dispelled speculations that Kainji Dam, one of Nigeria’s sources of hydro-electric power, had collapsed.

It said in a statement by the Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Engr. Chidi Izuwah Snr, that the eam had been visited by relevant technical teams and certified to be in good condition.

It reads: "The attention of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission has been drawn to very dangerous fake news circulating about Kainji Dam. As part of the Power Sector reforms, Kainji Hydropower Facilities are on concession to Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd.

Mainstream’s responsibility includes safe custody of the entire dam structure and appurtenances. The 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.

The ICRC wants to confirm that the integrity of Kainji Dam is intact and the facility is operating flawlessly and injecting lowest-cost power to the national grid.

During our last compliance monitoring visit before the Covid19 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.

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.

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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.

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.

We inform the public that Kainji Dam is safe and advice them to ignore the fake news. We advise all Nigerians to please kindly check the status of our PPP and concession projects on the ICRC disclosure portal via www.icrc.gov.ng or directly with the Commission.

God bless Nigeria."