ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA) OF THE PROPOSED KIRI HYDRO-ELECTRIC POWER PROJECT

ABSTRACT
This thesis assesses the potential environmental as well as the social impacts that are associated with the conversion of Kiri dam to a hydro-electric power dam. As case studies, five villages namely; Mabonde, Gelode, WuroJauro, Kiri and New Talum in the Guyuk District of the Adamawa State region respectively, were selected for questionnaire survey and scheduled focus group discussion. A total of 150 questionnaires were administered in the villages and 8 persons from each village were involved in the scheduled focus group discussions. Consultations were made to the institutional stakeholders of the project planning including GOBADEC, UBRBDA, State Ministry of Environment Yola, and State Ministry of Works Yola to ascertain their understanding of the project impacts on the environment. Site visit was also undertaken to ascertain the formation and modification of the of the proposed project environment since the inception of the dam. Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing was applied to study the changes in land-use and vegetation cover since the impoundment of the river in 1982 and it was found that 27.77 km2 of land was lost to the lake reservoir, 20.96 km2 of land was lost to flood plains and 6.82 km2 of land lost to agriculture/settlement, totalling 55.55 km2 of land lost in the last two decades. The result of the study has revealed that the potential adverse impacts of the proposed project such as flooding, pollution and threat to public health to mention a few, are mostly limited to the construction stage of the project. However, numerous benefits such as boost to economic growth, skill transfer to locals and increase in local economic activities are to be enjoyed during both the construction and operational stages of the hydropower project. To avert the potential adverse environmental and social problems in the area, the study recommends equal partnership between the project owners, responsible authority (UBRBDA) with the local people to combat environmental degradation. Furthermore, the use of computer based technologies like Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) should be implemented to play a major role in assisting and combating the problems within the lake and dam catchment areas.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Preamble
In the technologically advanced world of the 21st century, the development imperative of renewable energy resources and hydroelectric power in particular, in developing countries is attributed to the role it plays in economic advancement and in everyday activities including production, consumption, health and education. Although electric energy is one of the major propellers of economic growth, one of the biggest challenges facing both developed and developing countries currently is the guarantee of a sufficient supply of environmentally friendly energy (El Bassam, 2004).

Renewable energy resources in general and hydropower in particular have been characterized as benign sources of electrical energy that can have a positive contribution for climate change mitigation (Integrated Healthcare Association; (IHA), 2003). Research on replenishing electrical energy resources has established an empirical ground to argue why renewable resources should constitute an essential part of the electrical energy system. Major reason include that it is a clean alternative to greenhouse gas producing fossil fuels and they can supply the demand from a rapid population increase in the developing countries. The rise in the price of fossil fuels, and its reserves depletion makes renewable fuel possible options for developing economies (El Bassam 2004; Sternberg 2008). These key justifications may provide decision makers in developing countries a ground to consider renewable energy resources as an alternative source of energy or at least as part of the energy mix.A large number of developing countries, of which Nigeria is not an exception, have framed an alternative policy that could facilitate the exploitation of locally available renewable electric energy sources such as hydropower resources. Thus, the

question why many developing countries and particularly Nigeria focus on exploiting locally available renewable sources of energy such as hydropower can be a linked to empirically established rationale and frequently debated challenges in major development and political discourses.

Hydropower has a recorded history of electric production, providing substantial energy services in many parts of the world such as the U.S.A., China, Canada, and Norway (Gilpin, 1995). Different national policy documents on hydropower development project, justifying the development of this sector. Hydro power is a renewable, economic, non-polluting and environmentally benign source of energy. Hydropower stations help in improving the reliability of the power system. In addition some hydroelectric projects have long life spans extending over 50 years and help in conserving scarce fossil fuels (Integrated Healthcare Association; (IHA), 2003).

However, rarely mentioned in these policy documents arethe social and environmental costs of hydropower development projects. These dimensions have not been addressed sufficiently as parts ofhydropower project development processes and it is argued that these two dimensions are the major sources of controversies of hydropower development projects in developing countries (Briscoe, 1999) and all developing projects in general.

The perception of large dams as a developing imperative is challenged by a paradigmatic shift in water resources development from a supply-based and control-based approach to increased concern for environmental and ecological impacts as well as economic and social costs of the construction of a large dam (Alhassan, 2009). Consequently the negative

impacts of large dams on both society and nature have generated the perception of larger dams as failed development technologies (Alhassan, 2009).

The critics of large dams is based on the concerns about how they dismember rivers, dislocate entire communities, fracture social cohesion, and damage the dignity and mental psyche of those affected , leading to untold and irreparable hardships, yet without any corresponding benefits‘ (Alhassan 2009). As a result some of the populace who resettled due to the construction of dams feel short-changed. And if they at all are compensated or relocated, the relocated are left usually without post-compensation management.

The disapproval of large dams as a failed technology due to the social and environmental costs has coincided with a surge in non-governmental activism. The strong opposition against large-scale hydropower dams in contemporary Africa has then hinged the support of such large infrastructure developments in the continent, leading to a significant decline in the development of large dams in the late 1980s (Bergeretet al., 2003, in Alhassan 2009).

1.2 Background of the Study
Recently, demand of the growing population for food, electric power supply and economic growth has led to the initiation of large scale river development projects. Hence the construction of manmade lakes and dams are examples of commonest forms of river developments aimed at providing water for hydroelectric power, irrigation of floodplains, fishing industry and domestic needs among others. Some of these multipurpose dams provide integrated series of benefits like reservoir fisheries, transportation, domestic and industrial water supply, and recreational facilities needed by man.

Of course, it is in connection with the purposes stated above that the River Gongola was dammed at Kiri under the sponsorship of the Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Kiri dam was originally conceived by Savannah Sugar Company but was completed by and it‘s now under the control of the Upper Benue River Basin Authority (UBRBDA). Savannah Sugar Company is however, still the greatest user of the dam, where the water is used for irrigating its sugarcane plantation. The dam was constructed in 1982, on River Gongola at Kiri some 25kilometres up stream of its confluence with river Benue. The dam covers the land area of about 134 Square Kilometres. It has been reported that the construction of the dam displaced over 20,000 people who were resettled in new areas (Salau, 1986). The main aim of constructing Kiri dam is to provide water for irrigation, fisher and transportation among others.

The development of well-planned water infrastructure is widely recognized as a critical component of economic growth (World Bank, 2004). This is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa, which experiences more climatic variability than other regions of the World. Dams are constructed for a variety of reasons.They are built for flow regulation and many more reasons including provision of both domestic and agricultural water supplies at times when water is naturally scarce, to provide power and, to reduce the devastating effects of floods. Consequently are provided opportunities for improve rent of livelihood, increased incomes and reduced vulnerability.

Currently, only 1,039 of the 45,000 large dams on the World Register of Dams (International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), 1998) are located in sub-Saharan Africa and half of these are located in South Africa. The majority are for irrigation (World Commission on Dams (WCD), 2000). Water storage capacity per person is often used as an

indicator of water security and a measure of water infrastructural development. Per capita storage in many sub-Saharan countries is the lowest in the world. For example, although Australia and Ethiopia have similar climatic variability, the two countries‘ per capita storage capacity is 4,729m3 and 43m3 respectively (World Bank, 2004). Kenya has levels of storage similar to Ethiopia and it has been estimated that seasonal and inter-annual variability in runoff costs theEthiopia, through production losses and flood damage, the equivalent of 2.4% of GDP per annum (Stockholm International Water Institute, 2005).

The need for construction of more dams in Africa therefore seems clear. However, the recent review undertaken by the World Commission on Dams concluded that while large dams have made a significant contribution to human development, in the past they have often failed to live up to expectations and in many cases the environmental and social impacts have been unnecessary and, by current standards, unacceptable (WCD, 2000). It is now widely agreed that there is a need to improve the environmental management of dam impacts in order to achieve sustainable development. As a result, considerable effort has been invested in developing approaches to lessen the most damaging effects of dams. However, experience indicates that the success of these measures is extremely variable and far from the assured (Bergkampet al., 2000).

The present study is formulated in an effort to evaluate the environmental impact of Kiri Dam with respect to the proposed hydroelectric power project. This is because little or no comprehensive research has been undertaken so far to appraise the environmental and socio-economic problems associated with the hydropower development.

1.3 Statement of the Problem
Over the past decade or so, hydropower projects around the world have attracted muchattention concerning the environmental and social impacts that have arisen from such developments. Construction and operation of dams have always been associated withchanges in the physical and biological environment. Adverse effects have more often than not, outnumbered the positive effect. Some of the negative impacts of hydropower include loss of vegetations, changes in river-rine flow patterns and regimes,involuntary resettlement, health problems, loss of cultural values, marginalization of local people, inundating of valuable agricultural land, and severe reduction of flow downstream. Most hydropower projects in the past have been given much attention regarding the technical design and economic issues of the project rather thantheir environmental and social impacts. The Kiri dam was constructed to purposely supply irrigation water for savannah Sugar Company. At the time of the construction, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was not a planning and management tool available in Nigeria. In view of this, there are several issues of environmental impacts, which have not been considered under mitigation measures as should have been done in a proper environmental impact assessment (EIA). However,today, the hydropower industry is in quest for improved project performance. In order to make hydropower a sound and sustainable energy alternative, increased attention need be paid to the environmental and social issues when dams are to be built or retrofitted.

In this particular thesis, the author examines/assesses the environmental and social impacts that are likely to arise from the development of Kiri dam to generate hydropower in Nigeria.

1.4 Justification 
The research study was conceived for the purpose of regional planning. This is because it will reveal the potential adverse impacts from the implementation of the project, despite its potential benefits to be derived. However, the result of this research would also assist government and other concerned bodies/agencies to work out possible strategies to combat these ill effects of the hydropower project upon the people of Guyuk and make reasonable environmental consideration in the development of future hydropower projects.

1.5 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The general aim of the research is to assess the potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of the proposed Kirihydroelectric power project.

The specific objectives designed to address the research objective are as follows:

i.To examine the hydrology, power potential and most feasible installation option of the Kiri hydropower project.

ii. To assess the actual land areas which have been lost or gained by the principal features in the lake basin, that is, the lake reservoir, flood plains and the

iii. agriculture/settlement  within the study period of 1976-2014.

iv. To identify the potential physical, ecological, socio-cultural, economic impacts of the conversion of the Kiri dam to a hydroelectric dam in its construction and operation phases of the project.

v. Produce an Environmental Impact Assessment Report of the project.

1.6 Scope and Limitation
The scope of this study covers the entire community of Kiri and its neighbouring environment, and the hydropower project will be assessed. The main limitation of the study will be the time at the disposal of the researcher and the fact that only the hydropower project will be assessed, excluding the dam structure(s). In addition, it was very difficult to obtain the relevant data from government, as well as other agencies due to their prevalent bureaucratic procedure.

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 160 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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