• Fear grips residents of flood-prone states

    Fear grips residents of flood-prone states - nigeria newspapers online
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    …Identified states, LGAs begin early preparations, adopt survival strategies as rainy season begins


    By Olakunle Olafioye (Lagos), Paul Osuyi (Asaba), Aloysius Attah (Onitsha), Olanrewaju Lawal (Birnin Kebbi), Noah Ebije (Kaduna), Scholastica Hir (Makurdi), Femi Folaranmi (Yenagoa), Stanley Uzoaru (Owerri), John Adams (Minna)


    Just like it did last year and in the preceding years, the Nigeria Meteorological Service, NiMET, announced its findings after an in-depth study of global climatic patterns, based on satellite images taken over time.


    Fear grips residents of flood-prone states - nigeria newspapers onlineFear grips residents of flood-prone states - nigeria newspapers online

    • Prof. Charles Anosike, NiMET DG


    It thereafter predicted that this year, about 148 communities in 31 states of the federation would be affected by flooding in the course of the rainy season, which makes water levels rise in rivers and dams as well as cause ocean surge in coastal areas.

    NiMET, therefore, advised governments of the states to be affected to take necessary steps to mitigate the impact of the looming disaster. 

    In this report, Sunday Sun correspondents across the country give a state by state account of the preparedness of the government and people in the 31 states listed in the NiMET prediction.


    For residents along the bank of River Niger in Asaba and other coastal communities in Delta State, it is the time of the year for apprehension following another predicted flood disaster of mean magnitude in the course of this year.

    Fear grips residents of flood-prone states - nigeria newspapers onlineFear grips residents of flood-prone states - nigeria newspapers online

    Fear grips residents of flood-prone states - nigeria newspapers onlineFear grips residents of flood-prone states - nigeria newspapers online


    It has become an annual ritual for those residing in areas prone to coastal flood to prepare to relocate from the danger zones to safer havens before the deluge sets in.

    Although the flood was very minimal last year, residents are apprehensive that this year’s flood might be disastrous as a sign posted by early downpours even within the first quarter has shown.

    A resident of Akwuebulu area of Asaba, the state capital, Tobias Ogbodo, told Sunday Sun that he is already preparing to temporarily vacate his place of abode.

    “Yes, I am going to leave because as you can see the rainy season has not set in, but rain has started causing havoc. So, I am preparing to relocate,” Ogbodo said.

    He disclosed that he had been terribly affected by ravaging flood in the past, hence he is unwilling to take the warning of impending flood disaster this year for granted.

    “In the past, I was terribly affected by the coastal flood, all my property was destroyed by the flood. I don’t want a repeat of that episode. The rain of two days ago almost broke down the wall of our house, so, I am already seeing danger ahead, it is imminent,” he said.

    Ogbodo, however, appealed to the state government to do the needful by creating adequate awareness through mass sensitization with a view to convincing obstinate residents to relocate.

    “There are people who are stubborn, they will not want to relocate until their property are destroyed. The government said the other day that they will not help those who are not willing to relocate. So, my appeal is that the government should create awareness,” he noted.

    President General of Obetim National Council (ONC) in Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Chief Sony Neme, said that based on past experiences of government neglect, those who have the means in the area have built while some are building at higher ground flood does not get to. 

    Neme said that those that don’t have have the means “naturally look up to relatives, as we operate community-based IDP camps. You know my people are full of pride, they won’t want to relocate to government IDP camps, as means of convenience remains an issue.

    “Our concern is the total lack of government presence in my community.  Like you know, we don’t have a healthcare centre to take care of the sick and vulnerable old men and children.

    “We have no motorable roads. No single tarred road, not to talk of drainage channels that are supposed to reduce the effect of flood. That is why we keep pleading with our able governor to ensure that Ukodo gets to us through his M.O.R.E agenda.

    “As the President General of Obetim National Council, ONC, I am not relenting in our efforts to get relevant government ministries, departments and agencies to come to our aid early enough, unlike in previous years when we were left to cater for ourselves.”

    Meanwhile, the majority of residents, mostly caught by the trap of coastal flooding along the bank of River Niger, are vulnerable people whose fate, at every prediction, hangs in the balance.

    They elusively look to the government for succour. Every year, they are forcefully relocated to temporary IDP camps located in schools which disrupt the school system.

    The state government in the past had indicated the desire to build permanent IDP camps, but not much has been achieved in that direction.

    As at the time of filing this report, officials of the government were unwilling to speak on the contingency plans to cushion the impact of the impending disaster.


    Though Lagos State is one of the 31 states in which 148 local government areas are predicted to experience severe flooding in the year, the state government has assured residents to remain calm as it intensifies efforts to ensure safety of lives and property during the season.

    The Lagos State government had in March announced that more than normal amount of rainfall was expected in the state during this year’s rainy season with a total of 1936.2mm rainfall predicted. 

    But the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, however, doused the apprehension of residents of the state ahead of the deluge.

    A statement obtained from the state Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and signed by the Director, Public Affairs of the ministry, Kunle Adeshina, highlighted the efforts being made by the state government to forestall flooding in the state.

    According to the statement, the Ministry has embarked on an all-year-round drainage maintenance programme for effective and efficient flood control. This, it was learned, is in addition to an efficient and sustainable solid waste management system. In addition to these, the state government, is said to be working in synergy and partnership with the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority (OORBDA) to monitor rise in the water level due to rainfall from neighbouring Ogun, Oyo and Osun states and the release of water from dams and rivers flowing into the state.

    Quoting the Commissioner at a recent press briefing, the statement revealed that the partnership with OORBDA had in the past years ensured control and monitoring of the steady and systemic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream reaches of the Ogun River, saying the mutual relationship has been highly beneficial and would be sustained.

    The statement revealed that the government had placed all emergency response organizations, traffic management organizations, and other emergency-related organizations on high alert to help lessen the detrimental effects of thunderstorms associated with the rains in the state.

    The statement maintained that the government wouid ramp up sensitization for residents along flood plains of major rivers in places like Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora, Isaalu, Pota, Shibiri, to be alert and ready to relocate to higher grounds when the need arises, adding that drainage engineers have been made available in all  the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs to attend to drainage related matters during and after the rainy season.

    The government, therefore, called on the residents to support the efforts of the government by regularly cleaning the drainages in their frontages to ensure free flow of water as well as to desist from the dumping of refuse into drainage channels, and to refrain from the acts that could lead to flooding such as indiscriminate dumping of construction materials, erecting structures within and around drainage right of way and setbacks.


    Given past experience of disaster wrought by flooding, Anambra State communities along the banks of the River Niger and its tributaries are already apprehensive.

    Though there was no flood disaster in the state last year, that of two years ago, 2022, left in its trail  tears, sorrow and unimaginable scare across eight local governments in Anambra North and South, Ekwusigo, Awka North, Anambra West, Ayamelum,  Anambra East and Ihiala.

    Many lost their lives while uproperty and unquantifiable farm produce were destroyed in the flood that resulted.

    Two years after, the affected individuals are still suffering the psychological trauma of the horrific experience.

    Respondents who spoke to Sunday Sun reporter in communities like Atani, Ossomala, Umunankwo, Odekpe and Okoti all in Ogbaru Local Government Area said they have learnt to carry their cross alone in case of any eventuality, saying that the government doesn’t really care about them.

    Felicia Ononuju, a farmer from the Umunankwo community while expressing her views noted that all promises of compensation and resettlement after the flood disaster of 2022 ended only in the media space.

    She said that they are apprehensive over the predicted flooding this year, but will take it in their strides if it eventually happens.

    “The experience of two years ago made us not to rely or depend on anybody for help. What we do is that we plant early and also harvest early enough so that before the peak of the rains, we have sold off our harvests. I know that this affects our productivity and even our profit margin, but it’s better to run with half instead of losing all in case of any eventuality,” she said.

    Anambra State Commissioner for Environment, Felix Odimegwu, in a chat with Sunday Sun confirmed that the state government has received a correspondence from the Federal Ministry of Environment on the NIMET prediction and early warning, which Governor Chukwuma Soludo has minuted to him for requisite action.

    He said that the state government had already taken steps from last year towards preventing the predicted flooding by carrying out desilting projects across all parts of the state.

    “Anambra State government always gets prepared. Every year we look at the gaps experienced in the previous year and we try to cover such gaps. Last year, we took a lot of proactive intentional measures like desilting almost all the drainages in the flood impact areas. This was carried out in almost the entire 21 local government areas and the result was the fact that there was free flow of flood water through the drainages back into the River Niger.

    “We desilted the Sakamori canal in Ogbaru and this led to reduced flooding and we didn’t record any fatalities last year. This year, we started early warning in February mandating every household to desilt and clear the gutters. We used the presidents general of communities, market leaders, school heads etc.

    “We also sent out an enforcement team to compel compliance and the enforcement is ongoing, but the beautiful thing is that the majority complied showing a behavioural change in the system now.

    “On the flooding proper, we are prepared because SEMA has also sensitised the people while we are working together to form a synergy. We are also preparing the camps where the displaced persons can be taken to. The welfare of the displaced person is a top priority and we have sent a memo to the governor for fumigation of the holding centres and we shall do that soon, in preparation for any eventuality,” he said.

    Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Authority (SEMA), Paul Odenigbo, when contacted also said that there was no cause for alarm yet in the state because proactive measures have already been taken which made it possible that there was no flooding in Anambra State last year.

    But that notwithstanding, he said the state government is embarking on an early warning sensitization tour of the flood-prone local government areas. 

    “It is very early in the day to talk about relocation of people who will be displaced by this year’s flooding. However, in the next few months,  we shall commence putting our temporary holding centres in  good condition preparatory to receiving people who may be displaced into the centres as events unfold, we position ourselves for appropriate and necessary action,” he stated.


    In Kebbi State, out of 21 local government areas in the state, about 14 LGAs are prone to flooding. These local governments include Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Suru, Argungu, Dandi, Jega, Gwandu, Maiyama,Yauri, Shanga, Ngaski, Augie, Bagudo, and Koko-Basse.

    To prevent disaster, Kebbi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said that it has been sensitizing the people around the flood-prone LGAs about the imminent annual flooding based on the NiMET prediction.

    Secretary of the SEMA in Kebbi State, Mallam Abubakar Abdullahi, told Sunday Sun that the agency has undertaken flood disaster preparation, including conducting sensitization campaigns in communities that would be affected by the anticipated flooding.

    His words: “The proactive measure is what we call flood disaster preparation. Immediately after we get the NiMET prediction alert, the first step we take is to carry out early warning, whereby we always inform people in the riverine areas that there is going to be flood. This will enable them to evacuate before the flooding starts.

    “Again, we have the community volunteers whom we have been training on how to rescue victims of the flooding. We do alert these groups about the imminent flood so that they can be prepared and be ready to go on the fields. 

    “We also inform relevant agencies such as the Fire Service, Red Cross and Community Volunteers.  The members of the Community Volunteers, especially have been trained and positioned around Yauri, Ngaski, Wara, Shanga and Rima Basin areas on how to rescue flood victims.”

    Abdullahi added that the agency has prepared shelter facilities and warehouses to store food items and non-food items for immediate response in case there is any outbreak of flood in the state.

    “We also prepare IDP camps and clinics. These are the things we do every year we get alert from NiMET and other meteorological agencies of the country,” he said.

    To synergise efforts, in collaboration with Kebbi State government through SEMA, the Managing Director of Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq-Yelwa, recently told stakeholders at a meeting that the agency will partner with any local government that has a budget for the control of erosion, flood and drainages. 

    He said: “But one commitment I want to make here and now is, we are prepared to partner with any local government that has a budget for the control of erosion, flood and drainages. When we check the design and the bills and we are satisfied, we are prepared to finance such projects by 60 per cent, but they must also contribute their 40 per cent too.

    “Once they are able to do that we are prepared to pay 60 per cent on behalf of the Commission so that our communities will feel the impact of our presence and we also feel the impact of the partnership between the local government and HYPPADEC.”

    He noted that the Commission was also determined to get to the genesis of frequent flooding in the hydroelectric areas.

    “We want to know what causes the floods and what we can do to mitigate the frequent occurrences. We have identified the role played by stakeholders, hence we will do all that it takes to reduce the hardships faced by the communities in the state.

    “We also realized the importance of stakeholders, and we want to share in their experience and knowledge.” 

    Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Bashar, represented by the Wazirin Gwandu, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar, suggested that afforestation policies and programmes where planting of trees are encouraged should be revisited by both the federal and state governments.

    He noted that the tree plantations would prevent desertification, enhance the ecological system and  stressed that those in custody of dams should not be only releasing water during the rainy season, they should always consider the period when rivers were at the lowest levels.

    In his remark, the state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Alhaji Hayatuddeen Bawa, said the presence of numerous rivers in the state, particularly the River Niger, River Rima, and River Kah, demonstrate that the state is extremely vulnerable to flooding. 

    “The River Niger stretches for 15 kilometers along the Nigeria-Niger border, with a surface area of approximately 87 hectares at Yelwa alone, whereas the Rima River originates in Sokoto State and flows through Augie Local Government Area, covering approximately 252,000 hectares with several tributaries. 

    “The Zamfara River flows through Jega before joining the Rima River in Bunza, covering an area of approximately 200,000 hectares. 

    “The water comes from the Zamfara River and flows down to Jega LGA, Maiyama LGA, Kalgo LGA, Bunza, and Suru. The people who live near these river axes usually suffer severe flooding,” he said.


    In preparation for the looming flooding predicted by NiMET, the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said that it has identified safe areas and grounds to relocate vulnerable residents in flood-prone zones against the impending disaster.

    The Head, Disaster Investigation Unit of Kaduna SEMA, Malam Hussaini Abdullahi, said that the state government has been very proactive in managing flooding over the years.

    Abdullahi told Sunday Sun in an interview that a standing committee that would be advising the government about impending disaster was set up in 2020, adding that the committee members were drawn from the various government ministries, departments and agencies, as well as the media.

    “Kaduna State is one of the states in the country that is expected to be affected by flooding this year as earlier warned by NiMET. To this end, the Kaduna State government is very proactive in case of flood emergency. 

    “The preparation plans is rich. Already we have identified safe areas, safe ground for people to relocate in case of any flood, and efforts are being made to provide succour and other items that can be used by the people in the event of flood. But then, we have been into sensitisation about impending flood within the communities.

    “There has been a standing committee since 2020 that is responsible for advising the government on what to do during the flood disaster.

    “This committee comprises critical stakeholders of state actors and non-state actors; Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and agencies like Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency ( KASUPDA), Kaduna Geographic Information System (KADGIS), Kaduna Road Agency (KADRA), Ministry of environment, Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency ( KEPA), Red Cross and other organisations, including the media are part of the committee. 

    “We have been going round flood-prone areas in Kaduna metropolis like Bachama road, Rabbah road, Karatudu, Gonin Gora, Ungwan Romi, Kigo road, Asikolaye, Hayin Mallam Bello and all those areas we know that  are flood-prone. Kaduna metropolis because of its geographical location we expect flooding. The Executive Secretary of SEMA, Usman Hayatu has directed us to bring more people on board to see how we can mitigate the situation if flood arrives,” Abdullahi said.

    Meanwhile, some residents in Mando area of Kaduna city have cried out to the state government to save them from impending flooding, claiming that once it rains, all the roads and culverts in the area are flooded, making it impossible for them to go out to seek for their daily bread.

    They recalled that there was a year an elderly man and a new baby died in a flood in the area, adding that despite repeated appeals, successive governments have abandoned the area.

    One of the residents, Afolabi Bello, said: “Places like Assalamaleikum road, Sarki road and other roads in Mando are in bad state. Once it rains, the residents can hardly go out because of flooded drainages.”

    Bello said that most of the roads in the area that need reconstruction are not more than two kilometres, adding that as the rainy season is approaching in earnest, the residents are living in great fear. 

    “So we are appealing to the state governor, Uba Sani, to work on these roads and put them in better shape for us because we have no other place to stay than our homes,” Bello said.


    Residents of Benue State, particularly those along the river banks and those living in flood-prone areas in Makurdi, the state capital, have expressed concerns over the warning of an impending flood in the state.

    Some of them, including Mr Terungwa Kucha, Mr Ata Ede, Akula Vincent and Mrs Magareth Ode, who spoke with Sunday Sun expressed anxiety over how the looming anxiety will affect the state.

    They called on the federal and state governments to rise up to their responsibility to avert the flood.

    Kucha who noted that his father’s compound, at Kucha Utebe, Km 4, along Gboko road, is the only house spared during such periods said their neighbours’ houses in the surrounding areas are also submerged on yearly basis.

    He urged the Federal Government to fulfill its promise of dredging the River Benue which is like one kilometer from their house, to enable the river to take in more water.

    Mr Ata Ede, who resides at Kirgh village along Naka road, particularly lamented that “we are definitely going to suffer it again since the government has not done much to control the flood around our area.”

    Ata, who noted that the Federal Government had done a drainage close to his area, observed that it was not able to control the flood when it came the last time.

    He said: “The government needs to open more water channels and drainages because our area is totally a water-logged area and almost 30 per cent of the city’s population lives there. Any time the flood came, it destroyed a lot – houses, cars, farms, foodstuff, among others. It’s a big problem. 

    “Government must step up their efforts and provide more water channels so that the water can flow straight into River Benue to avoid this perennial flooding.”

    The Wurukum market in Makurdi is another flood-prone area where on yearly basis, traders lose goods worth millions of naira following a downpour.

    Most of the traders were recently seen desilting the drainages in front of their shops to allow water to pass through easily.

    The state Commissioner for Water Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Odoh Ugwu, in a chat with Sunday Sun, said that the state government is not taking the NiMET warning lightly.

    Ugwu who noted that during the rainy seasons, the state is always at the flashpoint of the flood because of the existence of River Benue said: “This year we are kick-starting with the sensitization of people. About two days ago, Governor Hyacinth Alia visited Benue Links, the state transport company and gave an order that the shanties blocking the waterways should be pulled down with immediate effect, which we did on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.

    “We are trying to desilt our drainages, we’re opening up more drainages and waterways so that water that causes flooding from the river will be channeled properly so that lives and property will be protected.”

    He disclosed that the government is also looking at how to get a safer ground for people who would be displaced, saying “we know that it’s not everybody that will be risk-free. So, those who will be affected would have a place to lay their heads and take a temporary shelter. We are making that arrangement and very soon we will hit hard on the radio and television with jingles and information on how people should move from waterways.”

    The Commissioner said that he is also in touch with his colleague, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Yanmar Ortese, who has also assured that there are medical provisions for flood victims in the state.

    He said that the state government is following an improved blueprint on how to mitigate flooding in the state and are doing everything possible to ensure that lives and property are saved.


    The flash flooding experienced a few days ago in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, which affected houses in Nikton road, Samphino and Kpansia could be the advance warning that residents of the state are in for a tough time if NiMET’s prediction is fulfilled.

    Several communities in Bayelsa have always been at the receiving end of flooding with lives and property lost to the disaster.

    The people would not forget in a hurry what befell them in 2012, which recurred with devastating consequences in 2022.

    As it stands, residents are yet to see serious plans by the government to ensure the 2024 flooding does not make life unbearable for the people.

    Cries by the people for the Bayelsa State government to dredge the Epie Creek so as to mitigate the effect of the flooding has not been answered.

    The Director-General, Bayelsa State Flood Erosion Control Agency, Chief Omusuo Wilson, pleaded helplessness when he recently asked about the plans of the government to tackle the 2024 flooding.

    According to him, lack of funds is the major factor militating against the agency’s activities.

    He had expressed hope that by the time Governor Douye Diri appointed commissioners, the agency would swing into action.

    Unfortunately, Commissioners were sworn into office, but none was yet appointed for the Ministry of Environment which makes the matter worse as there is no supervising ministry to complement the work of the agency in tackling flooding in Bayelsa State.

    Preye Conrad, a resident of Kpansia said that the government and residents would have themselves to blame if the 2024 flooding affects residents badly.

    “After the 2022 flooding, the expectation is that the government will go the extra mile to ensure that residents of the state are not subjected to suffering like they experienced in 2022. But as it stands, it seems nothing has been learnt. The government is carrying on as if there is nothing to worry about. The people are also not helping the matters by not clearing the drainages. Every monthly sanitation means nothing to the people. They sleep instead of cleaning the drainages,” he said.

    Gabriel Odomene, a resident of Nikton road, said that it was sad that after the 2022 flooding experience, the government was yet to take the issue of flooding seriously.

    “How can the first set of Commissioners be appointed and there is no Commissioner for Environment? It indicates a nonchalant attitude to the plight of the people. We in Nikton road are not waiting to be affected by flood, we are already cleaning our drainages,” he said.

    Environmentalist, Mr Morris Alagoa, expressed regret that much has not been done to show that there is a plan to tackle flooding in the state.

    “As far as monster floods are concerned, there isn’t much that has been done statewide to give real confidence to Bayelsans; neither from the state or Federal Government interventionist agencies.

    “However, it is gratifying to know that the Sen. Douye Diri administration has established a Flood and Erosion Control Directorate to deal with related environmental and ecological issues in the state. So, while I must commend the state government for establishing the Flood and Erosion Control Directorate, it is observed that the Directorate has not been truly effective owing to funding.

    “With legislative backing, the commission would become what it should be and not be hindered by the usual bureaucratic bottlenecks which slow down service delivery.

    “As far as monster floods are concerned, there isn’t much that has been done statewide to give real confidence to Bayelsans; neither from the state or Federal Government interventionist agencies,” he said.

    Mr Alagoa noted that since flooding is a natural feature in Bayelsa State because of its terrain, there should be conscious efforts to reduce the negative impacts and make living in this unique environment more comfortable.

    He tasked residents, landlords and corporate bodies to play the role expected of them in clearing drainages in their immediate environment and also report those throwing waste into the gutters and canals.


    The Asa, Awara, Mmahu communities in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State have been unfortunate to experience flooding every year.

    The situation has often rendered many homeless. Indigenous people of the area who are mostly farmers lost so much of their crops and aquatic livestock to the flood.

    But despite the great loss incurred by the people, they have been left with little or no hope.

    Similarly, the Agwa community in Oguta Local Government Area has been bedeviled with the same ecological problem.

    Last year, an indigene of the community, Chilos Godsent, told our correspondent that they lost millions of naira to flood.

    What is currently bothering the people of these areas is the government’s lackadaisical attitude to their plight.

    “The government of Imo State has not taken any action to mitigate the sufferings of our community due to the floods that ravaged my community last year. The devastation caused by that flood was unbearable.

    “As I speak now there are no contingency plans put in place by the Imo State government or the local government council to protect the communities from the impending flood disaster that is expected to ravage communities this year.

    “The state of access roads in the previously affected communities is nothing to give hope; health facilities are not provided by the government at all Levels.

    “We need the assistance of the government to mitigate the speculated flooding of this year,” Godsent lamented.

    In 2020, the flood did not spare Abacheke, the hometown and community of the former minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, located in Ohaji /Egbema Area. So many houses were submerged and crops destroyed.

    Opiah had appealed to Governor Hope Uzodimma at the time, requesting him to ask the oil companies in the area to assist in providing palliatives to cushion the effects.

    Former Deputy Governor of the state, Placid Njoku, visited the ravaged areas and distributed materials such as bed sheets, cooking utensils and other household items, including food.

    But Governor Uzodimma, however, has promised that the dredging of the Oguta/Orashi River which has been identified as the cause of the flood in Oguta and Ohaji/Egbema will control the situation after its completion.


    Palpable fear and anxiety have gripped residents of riverine communities in Niger State over looming flooding anticipated to follow heavy rains.

    Niger State remains one of the flood-prone states in the country as a result of the activities of the three hydroelectric dams in the state with communities and farm lands being submerged every year due to downpour and sometimes the release of excess water from these dams.

    Last year, for instance, the rain took a heavy toll as houses, farmlands and produce were all washed away by continuous downpour.

    Over 500 communities across nine local government areas of the state were affected with all they had washed away.

    Director General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Mallam Ibrahim Inga, said that affected local government areas included Lavun, Magama, Rafi, Kontagora, Gbako, Mashegu, Mariga, Wushishi and Mokwa.

    Worse hit during last year’s flood were the people of Mariga in Mariga Local Government Area where about 500 graves were washed away with human bodies littered all over the waterways.

    Although he pointed out that the flood is an annual occurrence in the state, the activities of illegal miners are now contributing immensely to the flood disaster in the state.

    Also in Kontagora LGA, over 50 communities were hit by the flood after three days of heavy rainfall in 2023, affecting no fewer than 300 houses and unquantifiable farm lands and crops which were either completely washed away or destroyed.  Over 1,000 people were rendered homeless, forcing them to take shelters in government facilities or taking refuge with relations in neighboring communities.

    Apart from the usual relief materials, no effort was made by the government to resettle the displaced people and this led to the increase in the number of Internally Displaced People across the state.

    However, if the recent pronouncement by state governor, Rt Hon Umar Mohammed Bago is anything to by, then the people displaced by last year’s flood can now heave a sigh of relief as plans are on the way to construct 100,000 houses to resettle them.

    The governor said he was collaborating with the Federal Government to achieve the plan, stressing that Niger State plays host to the largest number of Internally Displaced Persons in the country as a result of insecurity and flood disaster.

    According to him, thousands of persons have fled their communities in recent times as a result of  insecurity in the state, in addition to those that have been forced out of their houses due to flood.

    “We are ambitious to build 100,000 houses to relocate communities that have been ravaged by insecurity and flood disaster and in addition rebuild communities that have been destroyed by insecurity.”

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