By Femi Bolaji
No fewer than 33 Batch A Corps members undergoing their three weeks orientation course at the permanent orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, in Sibre, outskirt of Jalingo, Taraba State capital were hospitalised following a heavy rainstorm that destroyed buildings and other valuables on Saturday.
The heavy rainstorm which started around 5.30 pm on Saturday caught up with the corps members who were out celebrating the cultural festival in preparation for their passing out parade billed for Tuesday.
The natural disaster which also shattered the screen of the corps ambulance, blew off several roofing sheets including that of the generator house and of the boys and girls dormitory, leaving them tattered.
The State Coordinator, Florence Yaakugh, who narrated the occurrence to Vanguard on Monday said no life was lost to the unfortunate incident.
According to her “we were all here as camp officials and corps members having the cultural festival on Saturday when the rainstorm all of a sudden started.
“The storm was so strong that visibility was so poor for both the corps members who were on parade and the camp officials.
“While scampering for safety because of the fierceness of the storm, some corps members who had some health challenges like asthma, chest congestion and the likes were choked.
“About 33 of them were moved to the clinic of which nine were referred to Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Jalingo because of their condition.”
Yaakugh, who confirmed that the 24 corps members admitted in the camp’s clinic had been discharged also said five of the nine taken to FMC Jalingo have also returned to the camp, while the remaining four are still receiving treatment.
While lamenting the level of destruction of valuables in the camp, Yaakugh also expressed fear over the devastating effect erosion had caused and the looming danger as the raining season is fast approaching.
She, however, noted that a government official had visited the camp to take a directory of the damage caused, with a promise from the state government that all repair works will commence in earnest.