Over 300 houses in Makurdi, the Benue State capital were yesterday flooded as a result of heavy downpour, which destroyed property and rendered very many persons homeless. The Wurukum market was also flooded.
The flood, which resulted from the heavy rains, halted activities in some schools, churches, market places, motor parks and also washed away farmlands.
The water covered the Wadata, Idye Village, Atsusa, Wurukum, Akpehe and Gyado villa areas. Others include Logo 1 and 2, Northbank, Ankpa Quarters Extension and parts of Nyiman layout.
LEADERSHIP saw the popular Wurukum market covered into deep waters, and the Living Faith and Dunamis International Gospel churches were also filled with water, just as students of the Benue State University were equally thrown out of their homes.
The rain, which began at about 2.am lasted till 10.o clock, however, hampered business activities and also disrupted traffic on the major roads that linked to most parts of the city.
At the Wurukum market, the most affected, located on Abu King Shuluwa road, traders were seen vacating damaged goods from their shops, as others packed water out of their stalls, while some simply cried over their loss. The flooding was so intense in some areas that it was difficult for traders to even get to shops in order to retrieve some of their commodities that were not yet destroyed.
Speaking to our correspondent, Samuel Pare, a dealer in mattresses, lamented the flood and said it was disastrous. He expressed dismay over the development and blamed the state government for its inability to construct drainages around the market.
“We told the government to construct gutters to allow free flow of water but such has not yet been done,” he said.
Chairman, Makurdi Traders Association, Wurukum chapter, Mr Emmanuel Kough, said the incident occurred every year and whenever it rained. He recalled that the association had approached the Ministry of Water Resources and Environment to expand the narrow bridge at the market entrance, which, he said, was the cause of the flooding.
“The major problem is the small bridge at the market entrance. We complained to the Ministry of Water Resources and Environment to expand it but the commissioner gave a deaf ear. You can’t understand what this has caused traders. We suggest that the bridge be constructed together with drainages to solve the issue permanently,”Kough stated.
Efforts to contact the Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment were abortive, even as he rejected the calls made to his phone; neither did he reply text messages sent to his phone by our correspondent.