The heavy rainfall recently witnessed in many parts of the country has wreaked havoc in some villages in seven local government areas across Yobe state, have been rendered homeless by flood. The flood was caused by a downpour which happened a week ago and lasted for several hours.
Residents of some of the affected villages told Leadership Weekend that hundreds of houses and several hectares of farmland were destroyed, forcing the inhabitants to seek shelter at Government buildings, schools, mosques and other public places.
A ressident of Buni Gari, who spoke with Leadership Weekend, said that no fewer than 350 houses were destroyed in the village and several square kilometres of farmland flooded.
Officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) were here to see for themselves. They have gone round, taken pictures of the destroyed houses and farms, and I can tell you that Gujba, Buni Yadi, Buni Gari, Gulani, all the farms were flooded,” he said.
He called on authorities and other wealthy individuals to support the victims so as to cushion the effect of the flooding.
SEMA’s Secretary, Dr Goje, said, “We are here under the directive of the state Governor, Hon Mai Mala Buni, to assess the damage and provide urgent assistance to the victims.
The area had been flood-prone and the people should either relocate to another place or a massive drainage be provided as a permanent solution to the flooding.
“I am happy the council is considering the relocation of the victims to a new layout as a measure to curtail the yearly displacement of the people by flood,” Goje said.
The persistent rainfall in some parts of Yobe State especially in the Gulani, Gujba, Nguru, Gaidam Local Government Area has continued to take its toll on some of the communities in the state.
A weekend after, one of the communities most affected by the rainfall was Bumsa an ancient community in the Gulani Local Government Area of the state. The heavy rains of the past few days have flooded the community leading to the partial submerging of some houses and farmlands.
Speaking to Leadership Weekeend shortly after the incident, the Executive Chairman of Gulani Local Government Council, Hon. Ilu Dayyabu expressed that, the local government headquarters, Bara town have been disconnected from the state capital, “as am speaking to you now, there’s no access road leading to the local government headquarters, all the culverts have been broken down, eroded and taken away by the flood.
We have a total of 12 electoral wards in the LGA, out of these only 3 wards are free to move out Dokshi, Bularafa and Bumsa. But the remaining nine (9) which included Sabai, Jibilwa, Bara, Gagure, Kushmega, Garin Tuwo, Teteba, Gulani and Ruhu are all currently disconnected from moving out.
Speaking on the level of the damage, the Council Chairman revealed that the flood has affected so many houses and farmlands in the area. Our people are suffering from one ungle to another. We need help both from state and Federal label.
In Kukuwa town over 30 houses and shops were affected, the northern part of Bularafa about 50 houses also affected while in Guru northern part 20 submerged and Bulunkutu community completely washed away by the flood.
However, in Bukci community, Bursali which links Bularafa to Bara town, the local government headquarters culvert have been taken away by the flood, thus leaving the place without an access road. Other places affected include Duyi, Kotom, Kojeli dozens of houses collapsed.
A community member, Malam Sulayman also disclosed that in Bumsa town alone 85 houses have been affected by the flood disaster. “The ugly situation had caused sorrow in the community as residents had nowhere to relocate after the house they built many decades ago had been submerged”.
He appealed to the Yobe State Government, Federal government and other donors to come to their aid by embarking on proper channelization of the area and also access the level of damage with a view to assisting victims.
The report indicated that the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) team under the Executive Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Goje have been dispatched to the area for assessment and advice on supporting the victims.
According to the SEMA Secretary said three people have been killed by flood in three communities in the Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State following a heavy downpour on Saturday.
The affected communities are Likdir, Buni-Gari, and Kukuwa Tasha where more than 100 households were displaced and are currently taking refuge in public schools and with family relatives.
Dr Mohammed Goje, noted that crops and community food reserves were destroyed as a result of the flooding.
The Executive Secretary who visited the affected communities and victims commiserated with them on behalf of the Yobe State Government and assured them of government immediate relief to cushion their hardship.
He further said he has informed the Chairman of the local government council of the need to relocate the victims to upper land areas to avoid more damage as the rainy season is just setting in and the locations have been identified as flood-prone areas.
Goje extended Governor Mai Mala Buni’s deepest condolences to the deceased families and prayed for repose to the departed souls and give their various families the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.
In the morning Hours of Monday 18th July 2022, incident of flooding in Burdu Maram village of Dole Ward, Machina Local Government Area the impacts of the reported flooding have assumed proportions resulting in loss of properties.
Over 12 houses in Unguwar Tudu Settlement, were affected by flooding to complete destructions, as a result of a heavy downpour. The flooding has led to displacement of majority of Households in the settlement, hence households relocated to Primary School, Mosques and relatives houses.
Also speaking, the resident of Gaidam the home town of former governor Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, Malam Rabiu Ibrahim, leadership weekend that about 40 houses were destroyed in his village, attributing the unfortunate incident to lack of good drainage.
He said that, who also confirmed that SEMA officials were in his village to assess the level of the destruction, called on the authorities to provide relief to the affected persons.
He also called on the government to construct drainage in the village to avert future occurrence.
When contacted, the chairman of Gujba LGA, Hon DalaMala, confirmed that at least 10 villages were affected, and that he went round to see what happened after which he briefed the state governor.
“The governor immediately assigned SEMA to assess the level of destruction caused by the flooding, and as I speak with you, our chairman, councillors are going round along with the staff of SEMA, and it is when they are done with the assessment that we would know the exact level of the damage,” he said.
The flood destroyed houses, overwhelmed buildings and killed some, thereby leaving families in mourning. Some are still missing and their relatives searching for them. Although some were able to save their belongings and had started cleaning up their buildings to move in, others have been rendered homeless after losing all they laboured
When our correspondent visited the area on Tuesday, some documents soaked by
the flood were seen spread on the fence. Standing fans and mattresses among
others were also seen outside. A trade who spoke on condition of anonymity said the flood damaged many things in his shope “The flood was much here. We lost many things.
The water level reached my chest. I was in the house with my wife and two sons.
We helped our last child to climb the ceiling. I tried helping my wife but she couldn’t climb. At this point, everything in the house was floating.
“I was able to help her climb the deep freezer and she was there for about one hour and 30 minutes. She was praying and I recall she said God promised her that the water of life wouldn’t drown her. The water receded later. The flood came with mud and dirt.
This incident claimed lives. I am pleading with the government to come to our help to assist us to cope with this monumental loss. These are the things we have gathered over years. Documents, foodstuffs and property destroyed. While others can still manage to clean the compound and continue living there, mine has been completely damaged. There’s nothing I can do to relocate to another place. We are standing now by the grace of Allah.”
Another victim who gave her name only as Hajiya Fatima from Bade local government, said the flood caught them unawares. She said she and her family just moved into the area three months ago. Fatima added that the incident happened when she and her family were Sleeping midnight.
The incident happened when all of us were sleeping. We did not know what was happening outside. Suddenly we started seeing water forcing its way through. We couldn’t stay in and we couldn’t go out. We were stuck. We left the living room and went to the kitchen and saw a pool of water.
According to him, “ We started scooping water but we later discovered it was beyond what we could do. We cried out hoping to get help but none came. At that point, we thought we wouldn’t leave the place alive.
“My husband and I started praying to Almighty Allah My husband is on Mosque and started praying for God to deliver us. The water rose to window level. I can’t explain how we made it out of the house. The most painful part of it all is that we just moved
in June this year. We were never told this and we did not bother to ask because we were desperately in need of accommodation.
I have never experienced this before in my life. For now, we don’t have anywhere to run to, we have been cleaning up so we can move in till we will relocate.”
A resident, Musa Abubakar operates a livestock farm in the area. It was a double loss to him as his house and farm were destroyed by the flood. He said, “I am a livestock farmer, all my goats, rams and birds are gone. Not even one was spared. The flood submerged my ranch and poultry. My house was also affected.
I am devastated. I have lost everything. For now, I don’t know what to do. I have
been unable to sleep ever since the incident happened. I think of what I have lost.
Leadership Weekeend laernt that, the affected area are Gulani, Gujba, Tarmuwa, Bade, Machina, Gaidam, Fika, Nguru, Yusfari, Karasuwa, Potiskum and Damaturu local government areas across the state.
Leadership Weekeend gathered that, after the incident, Yobe state Governor Hon. Mai Mala Buni, has contacted the federal government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to support over a dozen communities devastated by flood in Gulani, Gujba and some other local government areas in the state.
Meanwhile, the governor has directed the State Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to provide emergency relief materials to the affected communities.
Governor Buni said the need for collaborative efforts with the federal government and NEMA became imperative in view of the huge devastation suffered by the communities.
SEMA had visited the affected communities for a detailed assessment of the damage and the scope of support required, as well as to provide emergency relief materials to the victims.
The flood came following hours of heavy down pour sweeping off many downstream communities. Most of the farmlands and livestock were also lost to the floods.
Similarly, about half a kilometer of the road linking Gulani and Gujba local government areas has been washed away, cutting off Gulani local Government area from other parts of the state.
Governor Buni expressed deep sympathy to the victims who lost their houses, farms and livestock, assuring them of government assistance.
The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has predicted Yobe among 32 States with possible flash floods in the next three days.
In a press statement signed and issues by Agencies on Tuesday,which was made available to Leadrship Weekend in Damaturu, Yobe State Capital. He described that, the moderate to heavy rainfall could lead to flash floods in States such as, Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Bauchi.
The Nigeria Meteorological and Hydrological Agencies further cautioned that the slim chances of flash flood could be more pronounced on settlements, farmlands, roads, and bridges.
Following these predictions, there is need for the general public, especially residents of the State to prepare for the likely impact of this year’s weather pattern.
Consequently, residents in areas that are proned to flooding such as Potiskum, Gashua, Nguru, Fika, Gaidam, Damagum, Gujba, Gulani, Damaturu local governments and those living near flood plains are advised to take precautionary measures during its season.
While reiterating the commitment to protection of lives and properties of residents of the State through various activities, the State Government has taken measures for effective emergency management system: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery statewide through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and partnership with NEMA.
The SEMA is always on alert as its working round the clock on disaster management, mitigation, recovery and provisions of relief materials to victims.