September 21, 2015

Floods kill 53, displace 100,420 people in 11 states

Floods kill 53, displace 100,420 people in 11 states

*Swimming to safety

Blocked drains, Bakalori, Goronyo dams blamed
Punishment for environment sanitation crime too light—Katsina SEMA
Katsina N156m IDPs camp 75% ready; govt yet to fulfill promises—BAUCHI victims

Abuja—No fewer than 53 people have died in 11 states, following flood disasters that displaced more than 100,420 persons this year.

Thousands of houses, farmlands and property worth billions of Naira were also lost to the flood disasters in many local government areas affected in the northern states.

The affected states are Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa, Adamawa, Yobe, Gombe and Bauchi.

In Kano State, a director with the state Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, SERERA, Alhaji Sabi’u Mohammed, said 12 people lost their lives in the disasters.

He said: “The deceased lost their lives in six local government areas of the state between August and September as a result of the flooding.

“Six persons died in Shonono, two each in Dala and Tudun Wada and one each in Gabasawa and Takai Local Government areas.”

He added that more than 1,600 persons were displaced by the flood, while property worth millions of Naira was destroyed.

Mohammed explained that officials from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA had already visited some of affected areas and assessed the situation.

He said: “At our level, we have submitted a comprehensive report to the state government for possible assistance to the victims of the disaster.

“I am happy to inform you that the government had recently approved N15.8 million for the purchase and distribution of relief materials to victims of the flood disaster in Albasu Local Government area.”

11 dead in Sokoto, Zamfara

From Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, NEMA confirmed the death of 11 persons from the flooding.

Thickman Tanimu, Deputy Head, Sokoto Zonal Operations Office of NEMA, said 10 of the victims died in Zamfara, while a seven-year-old boy died at Kuchi village in Kebbe Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

Mr. Tanimu said that more than 86,710 hectares, valued at N1.58 billion, were destroyed in the three states.

According to him, 20,477 homes were also affected, rendering more than 46,200 people homeless. He said that the flood affected eight out of the 14 local government areas in Zamfara, which included Shinkafi, Talata Mafara, Gusau, Anka, Tsafe, Bungudu, Zurmi and Maradun.

The official explained that 8,540 houses and 6,450 hectares of farmland, valued at N260 million, were destroyed in the affected areas in the state.

Mr. Tanimu further said that 11, out of the 23 local governments in Sokoto State, were affected by the flood, while two communities in Wurno and Goronyo Local Government Areas were evacuated.

He said: “The other local government areas affected were Rabah, Kware, Binji, Kebbe, Gwadabawa, Wamakko, Bodinga, Sokoto North and Sokoto South.”

He added that, 24,750 people and 6, 922 houses were affected, with 42,800 hectares of farmlands, worth N750 million, either totally destroyed or badly affected.

10 councils in Kebbi

*File Photo: Flood victims

*File Photo: Flood victims

In Kebbi state, the NEMA official said that 10 out of the 21 local government areas were also affected by the disaster.

They were Argungu, Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Kalgo, Dandi, Bagudo, Yauri, Danko Wasagu and Suru.

He disclosed that 21,450 people and 5,015 houses were affected, while 37,460 hectares of farmlands, worth N570 million, were also destroyed.

According to him, two communities in Birnin Kebbi, namely Wabbako-Fulani and Wabbako-Hausa, have been submerged by the flood.

He attributed the high level of losses to the release of water from Bakalori and Goronyo dams located in Zamfara and Sokoto states, respectively.

3 dead in Kaduna

In Kaduna State, the Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Ezekiel Baba, confirmed the death of three people in Kachia Local Government Area of the state.

Baba said three persons died in August following a flood disaster which also destroyed several houses and crops.

He said: “We have not had any major flood incident in Kaduna State this year. So far, the only areas affected by flood were Kachia, Soba and Kajuru Local Government areas, which was largely due to negligence on the part of the affected communities.

“Many of the affected communities are in the habit of dumping waste in drains.”

Similarly, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Ahmed Salihu, said that the ministry had assigned contractors to consistently de-silt solid waste from drains.

He said: “We have also educated and enlightened all local government areas likely to be affected by the impending flood, based on NIMET’s prediction, to be prepared just in case the flood becomes a reality.”

Building regulations

However, NEMA’s North-West Zonal Coordinator, Musa Illalah, attributed the occurrences of flooding partly to disregard to building regulations by the people.

According to him, building houses on waterways predisposes communities to flooding.

Meanwhile, Mahmood Shehu, Director, Disaster Management, Kaduna SEMA, said that the state government had embarked on the enforce-ment of public health and environmental standard laws.

The Director equally said that adequate measures are being taken on risk assessment, planning, early warnings, information management and communication to curb avoidable disasters.

3 dead in Katsina

In Katsina State, three persons died and more than 3,620 people were displaced by flood during the year.

Ibrahim Abdulkarim, Acting Executive Director, Katsina SEMA, said that flood disasters were recorded in 15 Local Government areas of the state.

He listed the councils affected as Baure, Bindawa, Charanchi, Daura, Dutsi and Dandume.

Others were Ingawa, Kusada, Katsina, Malumfashi, Matazu, Mai’adua, Musawa, Sandamu and Zango.

According to him, NEMA had also awarded contract for a permanent IDPs camp in Katsina metropolis at the cost of N156 million.

He said that the project, which was under the Presidential Committee on Flooding Disaster, Relief and Rehabilitation, has reached over 75 percent completion.

Mr. Abdulkarim also said that 10 solar-powered boreholes had been drilled in flood-prone areas, to avoid outbreak of diseases.

He further added that NEMA had distributed 11 trucks loaded with relief materials to the flood victims and that the agency was enlightening the populace against building on waterways and dumping refuse in the drains.

Abdulkarim further stated that ecological committees had been constituted in all the 34 Local Government areas of the state to mobilize residents on safe sanitation and environmental habits to avert flood disaster.

“Some of the punishments contained in the laws are too light to the extent that the offenders will not feel the impact,” he added.

Four people were also reported killed in Jigawa flood, five  in Adamawa and three in Gombe.

11 killed in Bauchi

In Bauchi, the Secretary, State Humanitarian Coordination Team, SHCT, Abubakar Umar, said no fewer than 11 persons lost their lives, with 11,708 houses and 104,147 farmlands destroyed by flood in 2015.

Umar said the value of the property destroyed was about N1.5 billion. He said that 88 communities and 105 villages in 18, out of the 20 local government areas of the state, were affected.

Mr. Umar said the state government spent N12.75 million in ameliorating the hardship of victims affected.

Abubakar Ibrahim, a farmer in Darazo town, said the flood that occurred in July, caused serious destruction of farmlands and animals. He said the state government had promised to assist the victims, but added that they were yet to receive anything.

Another victim, Danmmusa Ahmed, who lost his house and birds to the flood in Toro Local Government Area, said they were yet to receive any assistance.

He said: “The committee said government would assist, but nothing has come to me yet.”