The Kwara State Government has ordered fish farmers within the precincts of the Asa Dam water works to stop the discharge of effluent into the dam immediately.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of stakeholders meeting with the fish farmers at the weekend in Ilorin, the state capital.
The communique listed some conditions to allow fish farmers within the precincts of the Asa Dam to continue their operations in the area, with the Ministry of Water Resources lamenting the negative effects of their activities on public facilities and water supply to the people of the Ilorin metropolis.
State Commissioner for Water Resources, Wahab Femi Agbaje, also directed that the 250-metre minimum setback stated in the law should be maintained by all the fish farmers operating by the dam side.
The communique also stated that “it has also been agreed that government must now have the data of and certify all the fish farmers operating in Asa-Dam area, while a seminar will be organised for all of them on safety measures by the Kwara State Environmental Protection Agency (KWEPA).”
“Effluent treatment machines of affordable cost should be procured for use by the operators, while KWEPA will carry out routine inspections of their activities for public safety.
“It is also recommended that the fish farmers operating around the Dam area should be registered with the Ministry of Agriculture,” it added.
The communique observed that the effect of fish farming operators’ activities along Aliara, Egbejila, Panpo and other areas has reached an alarming stage, with “The effect of effluents being discharged into Asa Dam lake having great impacts on the water supply facilities in Asa-Dam waterworks, such as GRP I beam that supports the lamina tube sand filtration media equipment, resulting into high wastage.
“The discharge of effluent to the dam increases the cost of treatment of water and reduces the quantity of treated water supply to the citizenry. This has to be addressed now,” it asserted.