By Bala Ajiya, Damaturu
Mixed Reactions have trailed the heavy rain that claimed 12 lives and destroyed property worth millions of naira in Damaturu.
Heavy rain across the state capital of Yobe , on Tuesday morning, flooded streets and submerged the neighborhood of Nayi- Nawa, Pompomari and part of One Million road. The heavy down pour that lasted for three hours, over flowed the concrete water channel constructed to control erosion by the state government and spilled over to submerge the three affected neighborhood that lived close to the channels .
Vanguard gathered from residents at the three affected neighborhood of Nayi- Nawa , Pompomari and one million road that the rain has done a lot of harm to them as most of the victims were seen packing their luggages to relocate to other safer area of the town .
Mallam Abdullahi Adamu , a resident of Nayi- Nawa, whose brother lost two children to the flood said “glory be to Allah, we prayed for rain and we have the rain but it came with heavy penalty. As you can see the havoc it has caused, my brother lost two children who were sleeping and couldn’t be rescued when the rain water over ran the water channels that control erosion in the areas and submerged our houses. “Apart from my brother’s two children, my neighbour lost four children to the flood and we have buried about nine people already while we are still searching for two missing girls ” he said
An official of the state Ministry of Land who chose to remain anonymous confided in Vanguard that, government had never allocated land to any resident of the affected areas, since the area was prone to erosion and the government has warned residents to desist from constructing houses along the concrete water channels .
Meanwhile, many residents were counting their losses and were in grief after the flood that claimed lives and rendered many homeless even as some farmers in the state saw the heavy down pour as a blessing in disguise .
Alhaji Aminu Aliyu , a farmer said ” Majority of Yobe indigenes are farmers and the period of rainfall is here, the period where every farmer will start preparing the field for planting . Some of us have started planting our seeds , we had the first few rains in June but all of a sudden the rain stopped and you know the result, the intense scorching sun will impede the growth of the seed without rainfall . We fasted and prayed and Allah sent the rain .
” As you can see, the whole neighborhood is deserted , everybody has gone to the farm , we thank Allah for the rain as we are expecting bumper harvest this year. Another farmer , Mallam Yunusa , who specialized on rice farming , while sympathizing with the victims of the floods lamented lacklustre attitude of the government towards farmers .
“The rain as we all know is a blessing from Allah but at times it comes with its own calamity. My sincere condolence goes to the families of all those who lost their loved ones .We need more rain for us to achieve sufficient food production in the state as the state government is not helping the farmers at all . How do we cultivate five to 10 acres of land when government is not providing tractors for the farmers .
Fertilizer that will aid the growth of seeds we planted is out of the reach of the poor farmers . We appeal to Yobe state government to emulate what other states in the northern part of the country are doing to support farmers by providing fertilizer, seedlings and make tractors available to farmers on hiring basis ” he said