Niger Gov’t assesses extent of flood disaster in affected communities

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Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.

The flood first-hand information Committee set up by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has visited communities submerged by flood in Lavun Local Government Area to ascertain the extent of the destruction.

The delegation led by the Chairman, Engineer Ibrahim Mohammed Panti who is also the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure while assessing the ravaged communities, said they were there to get firsthand information on the level of damages with a view to providing a lasting solution to the perennial flooding affecting communities in the state as well as see how the government will provide succour to the victims in form of relief materials.

The affected areas in the locality are over 30 with some totally cut off from each other.

Some of the communities the committee visited include; Sachi and Egagi.

Engineer Panti said that flooding is a natural disaster but could be avoided if people hid to flood alert regularly given by relevant authorities.

He said the surest remedy was to resettle the communities that were living on a watercourse, even though he acknowledged the difficulty of the task while hoping that the people will understand that it is for there good.

The Deputy Speaker and Member representing Lavun Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Jibrin Ndagi Baba said flooding in the area happens annually, adding that as the government is doing it’s best to provide them with relief materials they will continue to sensitize them on the need to leave the flood plains.

The Deputy Speaker explained that the flood victims are yet to be provided with relief materials because the areas are still waterlogged.

The lawmaker said concerted efforts will be made by the State and  National legislators representing the people of the state for the actualization of the Hydro-Electric Power Producing Area Development Commission(HYPADEC) as the commission will go a long way in addressing some of this issues.

He assured irrigation farming would be encouraged through the provision of implements to the farmers of affected areas.

The Director-General (DG), Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Ahmed Ibrahim Inga said that the flood has overwhelmed them, resettling the communities which he concord is the permanent solution to the perennial flooding in the areas, however, noted that it is a capital intensive project even as it is necessary for the Federal Government and International Community to support the resettling of the communities in the Flood Plains.

Some members of the community who pleaded with the government to come to their aid said, living has become unbearable for them, as some have their houses collapsed, food items and farmland washed away, adding that they were sleeping and taking refuge on the road without food or portable drinking water.

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