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110,000 people displaced by floods in Benue


Over 110,000 people in 24 communities in Benue state have been displaced by floods.
The Executive SEcretary of the Benue state Emergency Management Agency, Boniface Ortese told newsmen in Makurdi that over 2,769 households were affected.
The affected communities are Achusa, Idye, Wurukum Market, Genabe, Industrial Layout, Demekpe, Wadata Market, Katungu, behind the Civil Service Commission, Agboughul-Wadata among others.
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately mobilize personnel and resources to provide aid to victims.

Houses were submerged in the flood

A statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, last night said Buhari is closely monitoring the situation and is receiving regular updates on the scale of the disaster, as well as the Federal Government’s humanitarian response.”
The statement said the president has also extended his sympathies to the government and people of Benue State, and assured them that the Federal Government will make available any assistance needed to enable the state and affected communities cope with and surmount the impact of the flooding.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Joseph Utsev, has urged the Federal Government to include Benue among states to benefit from the N1.6 billion ecological intervention fund.

Utsev said since 2013, the state had not received any ecological assistance from the Federal Government. He added that if adequate budgetary provisions were made, many disasters may be mitigated since natural disasters could only be controlled.
The commissioner said that dredging the River Benue would provide a permanent solution to the recurring flood in the state. “Benue Government is looking for ways in which River Benue can be dredged; this is because by dredging the river, the water can be accommodated and thus, prevent future overflow.
But many residents blame the state government for not providing adequate support to victims.
Some residents who spoke to the media said government did not provide refuge camps for people displaced by the flood.
Emergency officials are said to be waiting for the governor’s approval to open up camps for victims, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

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