July 11, 2017

Suleja Flood: Senate urges FG to release funds for construction of drainage systems

The Senate has urged the Federal Government to release funds to Niger Government for immediate construction of drainage systems in Suleja, Tafa and other flood-prone areas of the state.

It said that it was an emergency intervention measure on the flood which devastated the areas and claimed some lives and property on Saturday.

The upper chamber also called on the government to send relief materials to the affected areas and states and support them in other ways for immediate repair of damaged infrastructure that could withstand future rainfall.

It equally urged the government to intensify its weather forecasts in languages widely spoken in areas that were likely to experience flood, thunderstorms and other extreme weather conditions.

These followed a motion by Sen. David Umaru (APC-Niger) on “The Flood Disaster that Affected Suleja and Tafa Local Government Areas of Niger and other parts of the country“ during plenary on Tuesday.

He said that the Senate was concerned that the scale of devastation was beyond the capacity of the two areas and indeed, Niger government to handle except with intervention from relevant agencies of government.

Umaru said recent flood disasters in the country appeared to have caught victims off guard in spite of early forecasts, including prediction of flood and other extreme weather conditions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).

According to him, the victims of these incidents are presently at the risk of contracting water-borne diseases such as cholera as a result of the devastation caused by the flood to their sanitation and immediate surroundings.

Supporting the motion, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (APC-Niger) described the incident as unfortunate.

“What has happened in Suleja is a clear confirmation of the fact that this is something that requires a much more robust action from government so that we can prevent the unfortunate loss of lives and livelihoods of our citizens.

“Even though the recommendations are straight forward, we need to look at these issues from the actions we have put in place from the legislative perspective.

“`This is so, so that year-in year-out, these problems as we face them, we will have a robust mechanism for attending to the problems as they come so that we are not having an ad hoc arrangement to attend to these issues,” Abdullahi said.

After the motion and contributions, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, put the resolutions to vote and they were unanimously adopted.