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Floods hit Benue, Kastina States

Floods have destroyed many property and rendered thousands homeless in Benue and Katsina States, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports.

In Benue, the Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Mr Joseph Ustev, told NAN on Saturday in Makurdi that five local governments had been affected by flooding in the state.

Ustev said that all the local governments were among the six predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) that would be affected by the 2017 flooding.

NAN reports that the six local government areas are Makurdi, Buruku, Guma, Tarka, Logo and Agatu.

“So far the flood committee has discovered that flood has actually set in, we went to places like Adeke along Welfare Quarters and discovered that flood has taken over some houses.

“As we speak, they are homeless, like one of the places we visited, they were yet to eat because water has taken over their houses and there is no place to cook.

“The problem in Adeke is because of lack of sufficient culvert to control the water; while along George Akume Road, the area needs a big drainage system to control the water flow.”

Ustev urged the Federal Government to include Benue among the states to benefit from the N1.6 billion ecological intervention funds for states affected by flood disaster in the country.

He said that since 2013, the state had not received any ecological assistance from the Federal Government.

He said that the current budget provisions to address  environmental issues were inadequate and needed to be increased as a result of the number of disasters witnessed in the country.

He said that if adequate budgetary provisions were made many disasters may be mitigated the since natural disasters could only be controlled.

“Natural disasters cannot be prevented but minimised, there are measures that man can put in place to checkmate the disasters like dredging of rivers where necessary, building of drainage systems among others.

On NIMET’s prediction, the commissioner said the state had constituted a committee and had so far gone round the local governments.

He said that the committee would formerly write to the governor for immediate action.

According to him, the state government was constructing a camp at Agan Toll gate in Makurdi for likely victims of the flood and is enlightening the public on flood control measures.

NAN recalls that no fewer than 4, 000 houses were submerged in 2012 due to flooding which also destroyed property worth millions of naira.

Record shows that Nigeria experienced its first flood disaster in the 1950s and the problem has persisted till date.

In Katsina State, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on Saturday said over 1000 houses were destroyed and thousands of people displaced during flood disaster in five communities in the state.

“The flood disasters have displaced several families from their homes and are currently squatting with friends and relatives.

Dr Aminu Garba, the Executive Director of the agency, said this during the distribution of building materials to the flood victims of Inwala Jangebe village of Batagarawa LGA in Katsina State.

Garba said that the flood disaster happened three weeks ago at Inwala Jangebe village of Batagarawa Local Government Area where 300 houses were destroyed.

According to him, at Jangebe village a boy lost his life and 10 people sustained injuries.

“Flood has destroyed 150 houses and displaced over 2000 people in Kaita LGA; while a 10 year old boy lost his life during the disaster.

“The flood also destroyed 20 houses in Malumfashi LGA, while 40 houses were destroyed by the disaster in Mabai village of Kankara LGA.

“We also recorded flood disaster in Kusada Local Government Area of Katsina state,” he said.

The director said that SEMA had purchased two trailers of cement and 600 bundles of roofing zinc for distribution to the victims of the flood.

Earlier, the Acting Sole Administrator of Batagarawa LGA, Alhaji Bishir Shargalle, called on the victims not to sell the relief materials and urged them to repair their houses.

He commended the state government for providing food and drugs assistance to the people of Jangebe when the flood disaster occurred.

In his remarks, the Magajin-Garia Katsina, Alhaji Aminu Abdulmumini, called on the people to consider the disaster as an act of God.

He advised the victims to assist themselves by clearing the drainages in their village to avoid future occurrence of the disaster. (NAN)

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