October 02, 2015

300 Houses in Makurdi and 14 Villages in Niger, was Submerges by Flood


Flood caused by heavy rainfall which lasted several days has submerged 15 villages in Niger State.

One of the villages is said to be the birth place of the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso.
Investigations revealed that thousands of villagers were also said to  have been displaced by the flood which has forced them to relocate to the upland towns of Enagi Dokko and Bida.
Also, many farm produce, some of them yet to be harvested, houses, churches, mosques schools recreational facilities were  submerged by the flood.

It was learnt that two local government areas of Gbako and Mokwa in the Niger South senatorial district were the worst hit by the flood with two villages in Gbako Local Government Area said to be totally submerged by water, while 12 villages have come under water in Mokwa Local Government Area.

However, items destroyed by the flood have not been quantified because those concerned were still counting their losses.
The Nigerian Red Cross which has already sent its officials to the affected communities on “rescue assessment mission,’ described the situation on the ground as very sad and worrisome. The situation is very critical and pathetic,’ the Red Cross Disaster Management Coordinator in the state, Alfa Babangbogi, who led the team said while confirming the story.
Babangbogi said the flood started two weeks ago and that the water level  takes over continued to increase, creating fears that more damage could be done and that the flood waters could spread to other local government areas.
He disclosed that the Red Cross would as it did during the 2012 flood disaster, give assistance to the affected communities but urged local and state governments as well to do individuals to come to the assistance of those affected.
Babangbogi said the state government had set up a committee to assess the extent of the disaster and recommend what assistance to render to those affected.
An effort to get officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the state for comment was unsuccessful but the Deputy Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Samson Alfa Gbangbagi, confirmed the story.
Gbangbagi assured those affected that government would speedily come to their assistance to ameliorate their suffering.
Over 300 houses and huts have been submerged with many families rendered homeless in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
The flood destroyed property and valuables worth millions of naira.
The Wurukum, Wadata Rice Mill, Agboughoul, Kutcha Utebe and Gydo Villa area settlements were the worst hit, while all the buildings less than 500 metres from the shore of the river and those directly behind the New Garage Road were also facing the prospect of going under the fast rising river.
One of the victims and resident of Wadata Rice Mill settlement, John Agboyi, said the residents of the area were taken aback by the flood.
“Its strange, we went to bed last night, only to wake up this morning to discover that flood water has overtaken our homes and neighbourhood; all we did was to battle to rescue some of our property from the fast rising flood water,” he said.
At Kutcha Utebe where families were seen moving their property from their submerged homes, a resident, Terhile Fidelis said the flood washed away most of his  property before he could mobilize enough support and help to move them away.
“My worry is that I do not have anywhere to go to with my family at the moment. I just can’t understand why this sudden rise in water levels cannot be adequately tackled by the government.”
Attempts to reach the Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Mr. Nick Wende, on the issue failed as he did not pick his calls nor reply to the messages sent to his phone
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