13 September 2011

Nigeria: Flood - Wamakko Calls for Prayers

Following the flood alert in Sokoto and its environs, the state governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko has called on religious leaders, traditional rulers and the entire people of the to pray fervently against the recurrence of flood disaster in the state.

Wamakko, who made the call in Sokoto yesterday in a release by his Special Assistant on Press Affairs, Abubakar Dangusau, noted that natural disasters were ordained by the Almighty Allah, and maintained that such disaster could be averted or its effects mitigated through prayers.

The Federal Ministry of Environment recently gave a flood alert for two states, Sokoto and Oyo, due largely to predicted heavy rains.

The governor lamented the various environmental challenges facing the state which, he said, were beyond the capacity of the state government's resources, and renewed his appeal for increased federal government intervention.

Wamakko identified desertification and flooding as a result of overflowing of dams and river banks and spill ways as fundamental challenge, attributing their occurrence to the inadequate utilisation of the waters of Goronyo and Bakalori dams as well as delays in the repairs of structural defects on the dams.

It will be recalled that last in September last, flood ravaged households and rendered many homeless, destroyed farmlands, crops and livestock and killed some others in some communities across the 11 local government councils affected.

Wamakko, according the released noted that the state government had learnt a bitter lesson from the unprecedented devastation of last year's incident.

He said: "We have put in place measures, such as early warning to communities prone to the effects of flood and the logistics for the evacuation of people, to avoid loss of lives.

"Even before the alert, we had to take proactive measures and, currently, we have since embarked on the rehabilitation of victims of last year's disaster and the relocation of communities prone to flooding."

While disclosing that various projects were either completed or at various levels of completion, the governor according to the release said all ministries, departments and local government councils had been directed to prepare and appeal to community-based voluntary organisations to also gear up to assist in the event of any flood disaster.

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