Flood washes off Bauchi-Gombe Highway, destroy properties, farmlands (Photos)
Story from Ahmad SAKA, Bauchi
A portion of the Bauchi- Gombe Highway has been washed off by flood following a heavy downpour leaving motorists stranded.
Two big culverts along the road in Bara village of Kirfi local government area of Bauchi State were said to have been displaced by flood thus cutting it apart, and motorists plying the road either from Gombe to Bauchi or vice versa could no longer pass through as the road was cut off by the flood.
The Secretary to the Bauchi State Government, Barrister Ibrahim Kashim Mohammed and member representing the Kirfi Constituency in the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abdulkadir Umar Dewu, stated this while interacting with reporters in Bauchi.
The flood was caused by a heavy downpour which started Thursday evening to Friday morning.
The Federal Road Safety Corps Sector Commander, Yusuf Abdullahi, said that the incident happened about 10km away from Bara along the Gombe road, pointing out that “no life was lost.”
He said that all hands were on deck to recover the road, noting that it will take about one week for the road to be fixed and for it to be motorable again.
Abdullahi, therefore, advised motorists who intend to travel from Bauchi to Gombe or from Gombe to Bauchi through that axis to use alternative routes to get to their destinations.
He said, “There is a failure along the Bauchi-Bara-Gombe road, about 10km away from Bara towards Gombe. Yesterday, there was heavy rainfall throughout the night and as I speak with you now, the road is cut off, it is not passable now. I am presently at the site and the engineer working on the road is also here on the site with me. The engineer said it will take him about one week to fix the road. This place also gave us a problem last year.
“For that, we are advising road users to use the Gombe-Dukku-Darazo-Bauchi road, for those coming from Adamawa and Gombe axis.
“The FRSC and sister security agencies have increased operations along the new routes due to increased traffic volume against hoodlums,” he stated.
In a related development, the heavy rainfall which resulted in an overflow of water from the surrounding mountains also submerged communities in the Kirfi local government area of Bauchi State and displaced many households.
While also addressing newsmen on Friday at the Government House Bauchi, after a meeting with the affected community, Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim, said no life was lost in the disaster and urged the victims to take it as an act of God.
He said the state government had conducted a damage assessment exercise with a view to providing emergency intervention to mitigate the sufferings of the victims.
The Director-General of the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA), Dr Ibrahim Kabir, revealed that after conducting the assessment, the government understood that the problem was a result of a dam constructed in the area.
Kashim said that the state government has engaged the services of Triacta and other construction companies to move to Kirfi to address the challenge once and for all.
He disclosed that the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is also going to access the damages in order to know the actual number of houses and farmlands.
A member representing the Kirfi constituency in the State House of Assembly, Abdulkadir Umar Dewu, said the problem is a threat to Cheledi and Kirfi communities, saying that “it had happened last year and also this year, but we are happy with the bold steps taken by the state government which will address the problem.
Also speaking, Alhaji Bello Mohammed, Village Head of Cheledi, commended the government for taking a bold step to address the problem.
In a telephone interview with some of the displaced persons, Alhaji Aliyu Abdullahi and Malama Hauwa’u Aliyu, they urged the state government to ban the construction of houses and other structures on waterways in the area.
They said the flood was caused by the lack of drainage to ease the flow of water and control flooding in the area.
Some of the displaced persons are said to be taking refuge in schools while others are putting up with their relatives in the community.