By David Odama, Lafia
NO fewer than 361, 000 persons have been displaced by the flood disaster that ravaged two local government Council in Nasarawa state.
A break down of the figure showed that 135, 000 people from 23 communities were displaced in Umaisha, Toto LGA, while 226,000 displaced have been displaced in Nasarawa LGA of the state.
Executive Secretary of the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency, (ASEMA), Barrister Zachary Allumaga disclosed this on Thursday in Lafia while fielding questions from journalists.
According to Allumaga who expressed fears over the rising cases of displaced persons following increase rainfall resulting in flooding across communities in seven local government areas of the state, hinted that over 800,000 to 1, 000,000 residents of the state were at risk of being displaced between September and October this year.
“Over 800,000 to one million residents in Nasarawa state may be displaced before the end of October. As we speak, some people are in the river currently to take assessment, search and rescue,” Allumaga stated..
Allumaga said the state emergency agency have taken several actions including dispatching search and rescue team to the affected local government areas and communities for on the spot assessment, stating that Nasarawa state was among the states Metrological Agency predicted to be ravaged by this year flood particularly in the month of September and October.
“Towards mitigating the effect, the agency with the authority from the governor undertook sensitisation of the people at the riverine areas especially the flood prone LGAs of Nasarawa, Toto, Doma, Awe, and other flood flash points of Lafia, Obi and Karu Akwanga.
” We have procured five speed boats and live jackets for five Local Government Areas along the coastal areas of River Benue, unfortunately, flood has already caused havoc in the following LGAs; Lafia, Obi, Nasarawa, Toto, Awe, Doma, Karu with one dead recorded.
According to Allumaga, arrangements were on top gear to assist the displaced persons with the relief materials to cushion the effect of the hardship as a result of the flood. adding that the agency was already in the market making additional purchases for onwards distribution to the displaced persons.
“We are making additional purchases of food items and non food items such as grains, rice, beans, oils, mattresses, mats, blankets, toiletries, buckets, cups, children clothes, mosquito nets among others”.
The Executive Secretary however, called on the residents living along riverine areas to relocate to high ground, warning against the impending more flooding in the months of September and October.
It would be recalled that the State House of Assembly had last week directed the state government to distribute relief materials to to the flood ravaged persons to cushion the effect of flood victims in the state.