About 12,000 people have been displaced by flood disaster that ravaged many communities in Kano and Jigawa states.
This was disclosed by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) north-west zone coordinator, Alhaji Musa Ilallah, who spoke to journalists shortly after delivering relief materials to some flood victims at Ringim LGA, Jigawa State.
He said that in Ringim LGA alone over 2,000 flood victims were camped at Government Arabic Secondary School, Ringim.
Alhaji Illalah explained that out of the said number (2,000) in the camp, 45 were pregnant women and 30 were disabled.
The coordinator noted that his agency was committed to mapping out strategies to prevent the yearly flood disasters and reduce the threat to large parts of the areas.
He further stated that NEMA established two modern refugee camps in Kano and Sokoto states as part of the agency's plan to comfort refugees for a particular disaster and avoid suffering or outbreak of any disease.
Also speaking at the camp, the Ringim local government chairman, Alhaji Murtala Abubakar, said already the council had provided over 250 plots for re-settling the victims of Yakasawa village, adding that "we are also in contact with the state ministry of land to resettle other villages at flood-prone areas.
Alhaji Abubakar disclosed that over 16 villages in the local government area were "presently under serious threat by the flood; as I'm talking to you the villages are surrounded by water".
According him, "proper attention is given to the victims in the camp as the council is responsible for their three square meals every day. "We also provided a temporary clinic and water to prevent any possibility of outbreak of disease".
Some of the items delivered by NEMA included 50 bags of rice, 50 bags of maize, 550 bags of guinea corn, 50 bags of millet, 200 pieces of blankets, 200 mosquito nets, 200 mats and 200 pieces of textile materials.
49 communities under threat in Cross River
Also, about 49 coastal communities in seven LGAs of Cross River State are in danger of intensive flooding as the water from the Lagdo dam in Cameroun Swells Rivers. Already the communities are experiencing unprecedented flooding which has submerged thousands of farmlands for yam, cassava, vegetable, cocoyam, melon and other cash crops worth millions of naira.
Hundreds of houses have been flooded while over 10,000 livestock have been affected in Yala, Ogoja, Ikom, Obubra, Abi, Biase and Odukpani local government areas of the state. Our correspondent who visited the disaster areas observed that the state may experience extreme famine, given the persistent flooding of the areas.
Assessing the disaster, the director-general, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Vincent Aquah, expressed fears over the magnitude and severity of the damage to lives and property as the level of flood has risen to unprecedented level.
According to him, apart from extreme famine that would visit the agrarian communities as a result of the destruction of their farms by the flood, housing would be a problem as many are already relocating to makeshift shelters.
"As you can see, these conditions are far below human standard - particularly living in a slum such as this thatch house. Children and women are suffering and there is an urgent need to address the situation before it gets out of hand," he said.
The DG, who was in one of the slums ravaged by water, appealed to the federal government and international organizations to come to the aid of the state government as it apparently has no financial capacity to effectively manage the situation alone.
Mr. Aquah announced that a sensitization campaign had already begun in all the communities along the coastline affected by the flood. Relocation to higher grounds was the only option for the vulnerable villagers, he noted. The SEMA boss assured that every effort would be made by the state government to cushion the effect of the disaster.
Some of the communities along the Cross River observed that several people whose houses were threatened by the flood had relocated to primary and secondary school buildings as well as to the houses of neighbours, relatives and friends.
Obanji Oko lamented, "The water is rising every minute. We have never seen this kind of devastation before and we can no longer sleep because we are afraid that the raging water could sweep us away while at sleep. As you can see, several houses have collapsed. It is pathetic."
Already, over 11 persons have been reportedly killed by flood in Cross River this year while hundreds of houses have been submerged or pulled down, displacing thousands. About 18,000 farms worth millions of naira have also been destroyed.