No fewer than 18 local governments and 500 communities have been ravaged and submerged by flood, with 30 people killed in Niger State this rainy season.
Releasing the statistics to LEADERSHIP yesterday, the director-general of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Inga, said 50, 600 farmers had their farms with crops submerged by flood.
On the lives lost, he said Mokwa local government area recorded 1 death, Borgu Local Government 2 deaths, Munya Local Government 10 deaths and Suleja 17 deaths, the highest so far recorded.
He said only 14 bodies out of the 17 people who died in Suleja were recovered while the remaining 3 bodies were yet to be recovered.
Inga added that the state had submitted detailed report to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), presidential committee on flood and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for further action.
The director-general said the report was interim as the flood occurred on a regular basis in the state this year, even in the local government areas where floods were never recorded in the past
“Even yesterday we recorded flood in especially some communities, now we have relocated some communities like ketso and Muregi in Mokwa local government area to a new settlement,” the NSEMA Boss added.
According to him, the worse ravaged local government areas of the 18 were Shiroro, Agwara, Borgu Lavun, Edati, Katcha, Lapai, Agaie, and Munya.
He said, “The governor has just approved that we take supply to some of these communities in the local government areas badly affected, in a village around Miuregi district Mokwa local government area, the whole village is underwater only the roof you will see.”
While noting that the government will continue to relocate the people in the vulnerable communities to a safe place, he added that proactive measures were put in place by the state government to motivate the effects on the lives of the people living in the communities.
…Sacks 5 Villages In Kogi
Meanwhile, the entire Ibaji local government area in Kogi State has been submerged by flood which started in the last couple of days, bringing unspeakable difficulties to the people.
The disaster ravaged farmland, residential areas in Lokoja metropolis, Idah, Kotokarfe, Bassa and Igalamela/Odolu, sending jitters through the spines of those residing along the river bank.
Kogi State is one of the states earlier forecasted for flooding by NIMET this rainy season, just as the agency had severally warned through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) that residents along river banks should relocate to high-level areas.
Some landlords residing in flood-prone areas have since started relocating as a result of the warning, while others hardened their hearts envisaging that the flood might not reach their compounds.
At Adankolo new layout, a landlord, Elder Jacob Makolo, told LEADERSHIP: “It’s unfortunate that some of us did not have the foresight to stop building where we have found ourselves today. With this yearly routine of flooding, some of us have no option than to cry loud to the government to come to our rescue.
“Actually as at the time I acquired this land shortly after the creation of the state, nobody knew that this is a flood-prone area. Presently, the economy of the state is bad and I cannot commence erecting another structure for my family now”.
Makolo and family have abandoned the building and relocated to a new A landlord whose compound is equally affected by the floods along
Lokoja – Ganaja village who simply gave his name as Mr Noah Ekele said his first experience of flood disaster was in.
Ekele said, “Since we packed to this house in 2002, we never experienced this type of situation that we have been going through since 2012. And since I have been stripped naked by this natural disaster and screened out of civil service job, I have no option than to plan and relocate to my father’s land”.
He told our correspondent that all efforts to acquire the government’s “flood victims’ quarters” failed as the number of the affected people were more than the apartments.
A rice farmer, Mrs Eli Ekele narrated her ordeal, saying she committed a lot of resources on the farm with high yielding expectations before her hope was recently dashed by the flood.
Our correspondent who went around Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, observed that many people residing in the flood-prone areas have started relocating and evacuating their belongings from the affected buildings.
Rainstorm Renders Thousands Homeless In Ilorin
Meanwhile, three lives were reportedly lost to a torrential rainfall accompanied by heavy wind Saturday’s night in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The rain which started at about 10.08am damaged many residential buildings, shops and stalls as well as electricity poles and rendered thousands homeless.
While one life was lost during the heavy rain, two persons whose corpses were yet to be recovered were reportedly washed away at Taiwo- Isale and Oko- Erin Bridge in Ilorin metropolis.
A source at the State Fire Service who pleaded anonymity confirmed that two persons were swept away by flood.
As at the time of filing this report, most parts of Ilorin metropolis were without electricity supply, while residents had engaged technicians to help them retrieve their fallen electricity cable.
At Amule zone of Okelele area, two electricity poles were badly damaged.
Mostly affected areas are Okekere Oju Ekun, Okelele, Alagbado, Ayegbami- Dada, Dada community, Harmony Estate area, Akerebiata and Oloje.
It was gathered that rooftops of many houses in all the affected areas were destroyed, while many victims of the destruction have been rendered homeless, especially in such areas as Gaa Akanbi, Murtala Mohammed way, Ibrahim Taiwo road and Agbabiaka
Those who could afford the cost of repairs have engaged carpenters to put back the rooftops of their residential buildings and shops.
In a swift response, the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, commiserated with the victims of the devastating windstorm.
“The Governor is saddened by the havoc wreaked on various households in Ilorin, the state capital, and indeed elsewhere across the state by the heavy rain storm. He sends his heartfelt commiseration and a message of hope to such families in this trying time,” the governor’s chief press secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, said in a statement.
He further said, “As part of his proactive measures to mitigate the effect of this natural disaster which had been predicted by the NIMET, the governor had last week visited various Federal Government agencies including the NEMA to seek special relief for Kwara. The state government is again urging the Federal Government to urgently consider Kwara State for special support.
“The governor, for his part, is immediately setting up a special disaster response team to collate data of areas affected and determine how the state government can offer support based on available resources. That response team will be announced shortly.
“The governor is also aware of the damage to electric poles during the storm. He has directed relevant agencies to quickly fix the poles as soon as possible to avoid further damage and ensure the restoration of power services”.
Meanwhile, the Ilorin Emirate Youth Development Association (IEYDA) has called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the federal Kwara State government to quickly come to the aid of the victims of the windstorm.
The call was contained in a statement signed by the association’s national president, Alh Abdullahi Salaudeen and the national publicity secretary, Alh Mohammed Jagunma.
The association said government’s intervention became necessary”especially during this period that coronavirus pandemic as paralyzed business activities in the country.”
It appealed to the state government, corporate organisations and individuals to urgently make provisions for those affected by the heavy rainfall because the incident has made them homeless.
It urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Ecological Fund, and related agencies to be proactive in tackling the menace of flooding in the country.