…Food crisis may hit Nigeria
As a result of the flood that ravaged communities in Benue State last week, the state governor, Samuel Ortom, has raised the alarm that the people the state and Nigerians in general may experience food scarcity later this year.
Ortom stated this yesterday when he embarked on an on-the-spot assessment of some villages and farm lands washed away by flood.
The governor expressed concern over the large portion of farmlands and food storage facilities that have been washed away due to the disaster in just one week.
By the same token, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has condoled with the government and people of Benue State over the flooding that has displaced over a hundred thousand people in the state and destroyed properties in 12 local government areas.
The Speaker also expressed deep sympathy for all the victims who lost their livelihoods, homes, business, farmlands, and families of those who died in the unfortunate natural disaster.
According to the state governor, ‘we are having serious issue on our hand. Benue is agrarian state and we have decided to go into an area where we have comparative advantage by initiating series of incentives to make Benue feed the country; but we can see the level of destruction the flood has caused; I’m afraid this will not lead to shortage of food scarcity this year.
“Two camps have already been opened in Makurdi to ensure that the displaced persons have shelter and receive assistance; chairmen of the 23 LGAs have been directed to use some primary schools as designated camps for affected victims in their areas.
”Let me use this opportunity to express deepest appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for immediately coming to the aid of the victims and directing the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA to provide relief materials to support persons affected by the flood in Benue state’’.
The flood submerged two major bridges on River Guma at Tor Kpande, and Mande Ortom, where the governor personally killed a Puff Adder snake in the flood water. Farmlands and food barns were also destroyed in the affected communities.
Worse, 11 (eleven) bridges and culverts were visibly submerged, while some 90 huts and houses were destroyed, with about 350 persons rendered homeless in the area.
Worst hit communities included, but may not have been limited to Tse-Adorogo, the governor’s village, Tse-Igba, Tse-Akor, Tse-Terzar, Tse-Abi, Tor Kpande and some villages on the stretch between Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi and Gbajimba, the local government council headquarters.
The newly constructed Daudu-Gbajimba, and University of Agriculture Makurdi roads, were not spared as they became impassable after several portions of the roads were washed away by the rising flood waters.
This is coming after the killer flood of 2012.
Dogara commiserates with victims
A statement from the Speaker’s office on Saturday quoted Dogara as disclosing that the House was in the final stages of providing legal framework to address natural disasters caused by the effects of climate change.
He said “I sympathise with the government and people of Benue State over the loss caused by the floods that ravaged their homes, farmlands and businesses and displacement of over 100,000 people from their homes.
“This is one flooding too many and emphasises the urgent need for targeted solutions to the problems affecting our environment.
“The House of Representatives has already gone far in this regard, with a Bill for the Establishment of an Agency dealing exclusively with Climate Change issues”
He further enjoined “National Emergency Management Agency, Ecological Funds Office and other relevant government agencies to urgently come to the aid Sof Benue State and the victims”.