91 killed as flood hits 12 states

September 21st, 2018

*Kano, Katsina top death toll

*Communities, farms swept away in Edo, Kogi, others

By Chesa Chesa and Daniel Tyokua

Rampaging flood in various parts of Nigeria has led to the death of 91. The victims of the disaster are mostly in 12 of the 36 states of the federation.

The first case of such massive loss of human lives was recorded in Kaduna and Katsina States last May. Since then, worse cases have occurred in other parts of the country.

For instance, in Kano State, the state government on Thursday confirmed that 31 people have died from flooding.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that the death toll from the floods peaked at 53 in the last four months, while 30 people are missing.

According to the North West NEMA Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Ishaya Chonoko, the agency recorded 51 deaths in Katsina State, two in Kaduna State, while 30 persons were confirmed missing in Jibiya, a border town in Katsina State.

He said that the floods occurred between May 3 and September 8, 2018, affecting 29 areas in the two states.

While official sources said that nine people died in Niger State from the weekend flood, residents claimed that the figure is over 40.

Concerns that the death toll from the disaster be high came on Monday when Kogi State Governor, Yahya Bello, said 10 local government areas have been sacked by the flood.

The Nigerian Meteorological Society and NEMA named other states affected by the natural disaster as Adamawa, Jigawa, Taraba and Niger, Kwara, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa, which are located along the Rivers Niger and Benue basin.

NEMA attributed the floods to blocked drainages, construction of structures along water channels and illegal mining along river banks.

In 2012, catastrophic flooding affected 30 states in Nigeria, killing over 300 people and displacing more than two million others, MEMA said.

Governor Bello told State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa on Monday that “Kogi State is worst hit by the flood, being the confluence state, confluence of the two rivers; and I needed to come and present the report to him (President Muhammadu Buhari) myself.

“Even though I sincerely appreciate Mr. President for deploying relevant agencies such as NEMA and all the security agencies to come to our aid, as I speak to you, NEMA is on their way to Lokoja to access the level of damage and we received substantial amount of relief materials, so far, it is not enough. I need to present the report to him as well and also to tell him about the security of the state and how we are doing,” Bello said.

*Flood kills 31, destroys 10, 000 houses in Kano – official

Meanwhile, Kano State government has confirmed the death of 31 people and the destruction of more than 10,000 houses during a recent flood disaster in 15 local government areas of the state.

The Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SERERA), Alhaji Ali Bashir, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Monday.

Bashir said that the cost of the disaster, which wreaked havoc on more than 10,000 houses in the affected areas, was estimated at over N5billion.

“Thirty one people lost their lives and more than 10,000 houses that are estimated at over N5 billion were affected. Most of the affected houses were either totally or partially destroyed,” he said.

He added that 35,000 farmers were also affected by the disaster in eight local government areas of the state.

*Rice, maize farms submerged in Adamawa

Also yesterday, the Adamawa State chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) said that with over 5,000 of its members affected by flood, food security in the state was under threat.

RIFAN Chairman, Maduwa, who stated this in Yola, the state capital said that the association, with over 7, 000 registered members in the state, was yet to ascertain the extent of damages caused by the flood.

He said that the earlier predicted bumper harvest is now being threatened by flooding.

Maduwa said: “Reports reaching us from our various local government area offices, especially those along the bank of River Benue, revealed that flood had submerged some farmlands.

“We received reports from 18 of the 21 local government areas, excluding Jada, Ganye and Toungo,” he said.

He lamented that majority of the farmers obtained bank loans for the rainfall farming and appealed to the government to look into the matter.

Similarly, the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), has said that it had begun the compilation of accurate data on the affected communities.

The Executive Secretary of ADSEMA, Dr Muhammed Suleiman, said that thousands of farmers were affected by the flood across the state.

He said that state government had reached out to some affected communities in Numan Local Government Area.

*Bayelsa coastal communities rendered homeless

Residents of Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have also be rendered homeless by the flood.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who confirmed the development, said that the state government was still assessing the damage caused by the disaster.

Iworiso-Markson said that the number of communities affected by the flood was on the increase, adding that the state was in dire need of support, especially from the Federal Government.

He said that the prompt steps taken by the government in setting up a flood response team and subsequent sensitisation had prepared the peopleof the flood-prone communities, adding that earlier flood alert also saved the day.

The commissioner, however, reiterated an earlier call by the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd), that the state is yet to get its own share of the flood intervention fund.

The lawmaker also appealed to other relevant Federal agencies to make haste in coming to the rescue of those affected by the flood in the state.

He said the State Government is doing its best; within the limit of its resources.

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