Nigeria to dredge Niger River
ABUJA, Nigeria, Sept. 10 (UPI) --
Nigeria began dredging hundreds of miles on the Niger River to make it navigable to transport goods from the coast to remote interior villages, officials say.
The 2,600-mile-long Niger is the third longest in Africa, starting in Guinea and flowing through Niger, Mali and along the Benin border before reaching Nigeria.
The Nigerian government says the 355-mile dredging project from Baro to Warri also will bring communities together, lessen flooding and improve water flow for hydroelectric power plants, the BBC reported Thursday. Others have contended it could harm the livelihoods of river bank dwellers, the British network said.
Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, speaking at a ceremony held in Lokoja to kick of the decades-in-the-making project, said the dredging would ensure “all-year-round navigability.”
“It will provide an attractive, cheaper and safer means of haulage of goods, while engendering linkages and promoting trading activities between adjoining communities,” he said.
The dredging is expected to take six to eight months.
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Published: Thursday 10th of September 2009 06:21:27 PM