By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
Twenty five communities in parts of Niger State prone to perennial flooding are to be relocated away from the floodplains of the down streams Rivers Niger and Kaduna to stop further loss of lives and property.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State gave the orders Friday following his on-the-spot assessment of the affected communities whose homes and lands have been ravaged and their environment degraded by the flood.
The Governor who was at Guza village, one of the communities totally submerged by flood water at Edati local government area as well as three other communities in Mokwa local government councils in the state, said government has the prerogative to ensure it’s citizens were not exposed to danger of any kind, hence the government’s decision to relocate them to upland areas.
He directed the state Emergency Management Agency, (NSEMA) to act fast in relocating the affected communities to safer upland areas as a matter of urgency and with urgent dispatch.
The Governor warned that the relocation must be carried out quickly as the state had received information from relevant bodies about imminent deluge that would further swell up rivers and other water bodies in parts of the state in the next few weeks as the raining season continues.
The Governor while addressing some of the affected families at Guza village, said the state government would assist them with drugs, relief materials and other basic needs such as food stuff so as to prevent the outbreaks of epidemics as a result of the flood and the subsequent devastation of their environment.
Governor Bello who was accompanied on the visit by his Deputy, Ahmed Ketso applauded the prompt response of the NSEMA to provide palliative assistance to the victims.
Hundreds of hectares of farmlands with crops and produce at various stages of maturity were submerged in the flood water.
Similarly, fishing gears, boats, livestock and property worth millions of naira were destroyed.
Some of the plantations included hectares of rice plantations, sugarcane plantations, corn fields and other food and cash crops which have been over ran and submerged by water.
He commiserated with the villagers over the huge economic losses and expressed his administration’s plans to put in place a permanent solution to their plights.
Hassan Umar Sonfada of Ketso village, who spoke on behalf of the affected communities, commended the Governor for the visit and concern. He urged the government to expedite action in redressing their plights.
Tens and hundreds of communities in parts of the state are prone to perennial flooding which are usually occasioned by loss of lives and property, no thanks to the vast, extensive stretches of floodplains from the downstream areas of the Rivers Niger and Kaduna and their vast tributaries cutting across communities within the three senatorial districts of the state.
By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.