Evil in the form of floods is on the prawl, visiting communities across the country, displacing and evicting families to the middle of nowhere. This is coming on the heels of a warning issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) barely five days ago.

Below is a brief chronicle of the horrifying statistics in the worst hit states.

Plateau state: Cows, bridges, farmlands washed away

Plateau residents yesterday had a bitter taste of the NiMET warning.  An all-night downpour on Tuesdaywreaked havoc on residents of a community in Jos East Local Government Area of the state.

Some herdsmen in the local government area lost 20 of their cows to the ravaging flood. It was learnt that the herdsmen had to climb trees to escape being swept away. Also some bridges on the Fobor-Angware and Maza roads were also washed off by the flood, cutting the local government area off from other parts of the state.

The House of Assembly member representing Jos East State Constituency Joshua Madaki said his kinsmen lost their means of livelihood to the flood.

His words: “The flood caused heavy losses to herdsmen and farmers in the local government. The damages caused by the flood can be quantified in hundreds of millions of naira. After the flood subsided, the owners of the cows followed the flood path from Angware to Federe where they discovered bodies of 29 cows.

“The flood also washed away farmlands and food crops, especially yam, rice and maize plantations. The affected bridges and culverts have disrupted the transport system in the locality and residents can only go out of the state through neighbouring Bauchi State.

“From the damage I saw, the affected farmers and pastoralists will require government’s assistance to recover what they lost. I’m therefore soliciting for government assistance for them. The huge loss is beyond what the local authority can handle.”

5,300 houses ravaged in Kano

According to the Kano State Relief and Emergency Agency (SREA), at least 5,300 houses were destroyed by flood in six local government areas of the state.

The houses are in Bebeji, Dawakin Kudu, Kiru Shanono, Bagwai and Garun Mallam local government areas, SREA’s Executive Secretary Aliyu Bashir said, assuring that the state government would provide relief materials to the victims, after the conclusion and submissions of the agency’s report.

801 displaced in Zamafara

The Executive Secretary of Zamfara State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Sanusi Muhammed, Zamafara said yesterday that more than 801 persons were dislodged from their homes by flood in Maru community.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone chat that the affected persons included 180 women and 621 children, adding that 52 houses and farmlands were also destroyed.

Muhammed said that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and its counterpart in the state had visited the affected town for assessment.

His words: “NEMA and SEMA have visited the affected town and conducted a joint assessment of the disaster. We will forward such assessment to our respective agencies for immediate assistance.”

He called on residents of the state to avoid blocking drainages building on the water way to avoid similar disasters.

Onistha, Lokoja on the red alert

The NiHSA yesterday warned of an imminent flood in Onitsha, Anambra State and Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

A NiHSA report on Monday alerted the nation of the overflow of various banks of River Niger, River Benue, Kainji Dam and the Confluence of water bodies in Lokoja.

The report: “At the Confluence in Lokoja, the water level as at 8th August, 2016, is 7.74m, which has exceeded the 7.72m recorded value on 8th August, 2012. This value is sending a strong signal to dwellers within the flood plains to relocate immediately to safer and higher grounds.

“Downstream of Lokoja and Onitsha, the water level has risen to an alarming height of 9.16m. This value is expected to increase with time. Therefore, residents along the Habour Bridge Head and industrial activities within the Habour Industrial Layout, Onitsha, should be on the lookout.”

NiHSA’s Director-General Moses Beckley said in a statement in Abuja that various agencies were struggling to ‘impound’ the floods, which in a matter of days shall be felt in many more locations across the country.

Beckley warned that the flooding situations at the upper reach of the River Niger portended imminent danger for Nigeria in the coming weeks and months.

According to the statement, NiHSA has a mandate to monitor all the major rivers in Nigeria including the Transboundary Rivers Niger and Benue. 

11 council areas threatened in Jigawa

In Jigawa State, 11 of the 27 local government areas are under flood threat, the Executive Secretary of the Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Yusuf Sani Babura said.

He told newsmen in Dutse, the state’s capital city that the state government would try its best to heed NiMET’s warning.

According to him, the flood alert indicated that most of the riverine communities along rivers Hadejia and Jama’are would be the likely victims of the disaster, adding that his agency had since kicked off an enlightenment campaign for all the vulnerable communities to be aware of the looming danger.

Besides ongoing jingles on the radio, Babura said officials from the agency have been visiting some community heads and local government area chairmen on the need to use some primary schools during emergencies.

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