Following the incident of reported earth tremor that was felt in some parts of Abuja a few weeks ago, an investigative report has attributed the occurrence, largely to the indiscriminate sinking of boreholes.
Recall that residents of Jabi, Gwarimpa and Mpape districts in the Federal Capital Territory experienced some violent vibrations between September 5 and 7.
The Federal Government had set up a Presidential Committee to determine the cause, which was earlier rumoured to have been caused by heavy quarry activities.
Some indigenous people of Abuja had also claimed the tremor occurred because of the anger of their gods against successive administrations for the injustices they have endured.
The committee headed by the Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Prof. Seidu Mohammed, turned in its report on Friday.
According to Prof. Mohammed, “Though these earthquakes may have been of low-magnitude, it is now certain that earthquake occurrence has become a potential hazard to the nation.”
In the report, the committee disputed that quarry activities were responsible for the earth tremor, as they called on the government to regulate sinking of boreholes within Abuja metropolis. Prof. Mohammed said about 110,000 boreholes sunk in Abuja produce 330,000 metric tonnes of water daily.
He added that water extraction and recharge imbalance from the aquifer is causing hydrological instability along the fractures.
“The latest occurred on September 7th of 2018 in Abuja with Mpape as epicentre. Though these earthquakes may have been of low-magnitudes, it is now certain that earthquake occurrence has become a potential hazard to the nation,” Prof. Mohammed said.
“The report of the geological, hydrogeological and geotechnical investigations carried out in 1978 by Julius Berger for Abuja identified Mpape as a Shear zone that is weak with several fractures and fault system.
“There is the need to regulate the exploitation of groundwater resources of Abuja via indiscriminate sinking of boreholes because this has been the primary reason for the stress build-up leading to the Abuja tremors of 5th-7th September 2018.
“Government should release fund for the training of geophysicist, geologists, engineers, technologists and researchers to participate in earth science research, in order to improve our understanding of Nigerian and West African geophysics and tectonics dynamism. We emphasize that this research has crucial societal ‘value as it is evident in an earthquake,” he added.