Flood renders 25,000 people homeless in Benue- NEMA

In Adamawa State, the heavy rainfalls caused floods that killed two people and ravaged properties worth millions of naira.

Many residents of flood prone areas refuse to leave their homes.

 

Floods in Benue State have displaced over 25 thousand people living in 14 communities, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has said.

The agency stated this in a statement on Thursday by its spokesperson, Yushau Shuaib.

The emergency agency also warned on what it described as the “adamant” stance of some residents who still live in communities threatened by more flood.

The refusal of some residents to leave their flood threatened homes many not be unconnected to be present situation of the displaced.

Unlike the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom, whose Makurdi home was also submerged in the flood, thousands of displaced residents have been complaining and begging the Benue State government to resettle them.

“Government needed to have also provided alternative accommodation for those living in flood prone areas,” James Tule, a Makurdi flood victim said.  “It is not enough to give warning signals, what we expected was for the government to source for alternative accommodation for us.”

The emergency agency however says it has, in partnership with the State Government and other stakeholders established three camps for the displaced persons.

The Benue flood is mostly due to the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in the Republic of Cameroon.

Aside from Benue, several other states are also suffering from flood.

In Kaduna State, thousands of residents in Kaduna metropolis have been displaced by flood from Kaduna River, NEMA said. Some communities in Kano State also submerged after the collapse of Warawa dam.

The agency said more areas along the plains of River Benue and River Niger remain under the threat of flood from the unprecedented rise of water in the upstream dams. Officials of the agency have however been mobilised to various states and communities suffering from flood, Mr. Shuaib said.

NEMA said it has contacted the relevant state governors and stakeholders, and as launched a series of awareness campaigns to sensitize the vulnerable communities on measures to be taken.

“However, some of the communities have remained adamant not to move to any place of safety and resigned their fate to the act of God,” Mr. Shuaib said.

Meanwhile, authorities at the Jebba hydroelectric dam have began discrete release of the excess water from the dam to safeguard the facility.  The Chief executive officer of the hydroelectric power plant, Lamu Audu, attributed the high water level to excessive rainfall this year.

An assessment team visited the dam and some of the threatened communities in Kwara and Niger States. NEMA’s Director of Planning Research and Forecasting, Charles Agbo, who led the team expressed satisfaction with the manner which the excess water is being managed.

During the visit to Jebba and Old Jebba, which are the two immediate communities located at the downstream of the dam, Mr. Agbo advised them to relocate to the higher grounds for safety.


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