Flooding across mostly Northern states has claimed so many lives and wrought billions in property damage. In this report, Weekly Trust takes a look at the development, even as the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) says more rains are expected through October.
More than 200 have died and property worth billions of naira damaged as flood continued to wreak havoc in some states across Nigeria, according to figures obtained from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and related agencies at the state level.
Thousands of people have also been displaced as a result of heavy rainfall and, in the case of some states such as Adamawa, Taraba and Benue, due to release of water from the Lagdo dam in neighbouring Cameroon.
In Niger State, the Director General of State Emergency Management Agency, Mohammed Shaba has yesterday said over 47 lives were lost following various flood disasters that affected the state this year, but figures from NEMA yesterday said 12 persons died in Niger State.
The DG made the disclosure while briefing the press after the state executive council meeting in Minna, saying though the statistic given was part of the preliminary report of the flood disaster and that the state has lost farm produce estimated at N 1 billon.
According to him, 14 out of 25 local government areas of the state were worse hit by the flood, adding that 1,000 households from 500 communities were displaced, saying they were now staying in an internally displaced camp that was set up by the agency.
He said six internally displaced camps have been built to take care of victims of the flood at Mokwa, Borgu, Shiroro, Munya, Edati and Lavun local government areas of the state.
In Adamawa State, 43 people died while over 120,000 people displaced as a result of the water released from the Lagdo dam in late August in neighbouring Cameroon, said Shadrach Daniel, secretary of the emergency management agency in the state. However, figures obtained from NEMA said 18 people died in the Adamawa flood.
However, Cameroon said the Nigerian and Adamawa State governments were duly notified before the release of water from the dam.
As a result of the development, which saw many schools submerged by flood, the government had to postpone the resumption of schools
Commissioner for Education, Mr. Gabriel Hamman-Adama, said in Yola that the indefinite closure of the schools had become necessary as 89 primary and secondary schools had been submerged while about 50 others are serving as relief camps in the state.
In Taraba State, no death was reported, but over 10,000 people were reportedly registered as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) following last week flood in the state.
NEMA released the figures yesterday in a statement signed by its spokesman Yusha'u Shuaibu.
He said the agency has so far registered "13,428 IDPs as well as 30 communities in Ibi and Wukari Local Government Areas that were submerged in the state."
Many bridges linking various communities were cut off by the flood due to overflow of River Benue and the release of water from Kiri Dam in Adamawa State and Lagdo Dam of Cameroun.
In neighbouring Benue State, over 25,000 persons in 14 communities had been displaced following the overflow of River Benue and another thousands displaced by flood in Kaduna River, NEMA has said.
A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by Shuaibu, stated that some communities in Kano State submerged after the collapse of Warawa Dam. Similarly, more areas along the plains of River Benue and River Niger have remained under the threat of flood from the unprecedented rise of water in the upstream dams.
In Jigawa State, the Chairman of Jigawa Flood Control Committee, Alhaji Abdulkadir Jinjiri, said yesterday that 13 people had died in and more than 36,000 houses destroyed by flood that ravaged some parts of the state.
Jinjiri told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Dutse that about 400,000 farmlands were submerged by the flood which affected 18 local government areas of the state.
The chairman, who is also the Commissioner for Rural and Infrastructure Development, said the state government and the NEMA had distributed relief materials to the victims.
Still in Jigawa State, there are 45 women at various stages of pregnancies at the Junior Arabic camp in Ringim Local Government Area where the victims of flood from Yakasawa village are presently camped.
Sa'adatu Huzairu, 30, who is in the camp will deliver anytime from now because she is in her 9th month of pregnancy. But Sa'adatu like most of other pregnant women at the Junior Arabic School Ringim which now serves as home, has nothing to take care of the baby should she deliver.
She told Weekly Trust at the camp that "I am due for delivery, because this is my ninth month. We are sleeping on bare floor here. We are managing as adult, but it will be very difficult to give birth to a baby that will be sleeping on bare floor too. We want the authorities to come and separate those of us expecting anytime from now and at least give us mattresses which the baby can sleep on. We need baby clothing too. The flood has destroyed our belongings."
The Chairman, Jigawa State Flood Management Committee, Engineer Jinjiri Dutse, said the people are the architects of their problems."Two years ago, flood happened at Yakasawa village. Government moved in and evacuated them to Santimawa village. Subsequently, we gave 680 plots of land to them. Most of them refused to relocate after providing the needed amenities for them. As am talking to you only 12 families had relocated there. So, they should blame themselves really."
In Kogi State, six persons died in floods at Banda on Lokoja-Abuja highway while the road remained under water for second day running, resulting in gridlock.
Senate President David Mark who visited the state described the flooding as the worst in 30 years.
Other roads flooded are the Murtala Muhammed Way by Serikinuma and Ajaokuta road by Ganaja village in Lokoja.
This development has made it difficult for motorists from Abuja to go to eastern part of the country as well as those from east to the northern part including intra-state motorists.
Pedestrians going to Ganaja village too also find it difficult as they have to use the road divider to cross the flooded area because most taxis cannot cross the flood.
Meanwhile, youths in Lokoja have been making brisk business as motorists whose vehicle engines went off while trying to cross the flooded part of the road have to pay some money before pushing them across the flood.
Speaking, a resident Adams Umar from Mpata village said since he was born "I have never witnessed flood of this magnitude. When we heard of it, we said let us be patient a little, because they told us that there would be flood last year and it did not happen, but before we knew what was happening the flood has reached our area," he said.
He said he could not pack all his property before his house was submerged, "and due speed to the speed it came, I have to abandon my property and some electronics inside the submerged house to be able to save my wife and children."
But for Ibrahim Abdulrahaman, it is a lesson he would never forget, but gives thanks to Allah that no life was lost in the flood disaster.
Meanwhile, the Kogi State government opened camp on Thursday for flood victims who had nowhere to go to take refuge. The local government areas where flood disaster happened in the state are Lokoja, Ibaji, Iddah, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Kabba as well as Bassa.
"My house has been submerged. So, I am here with my six children without food, clothes and other household property as they are still inside water," he said.
Mr. Isaac who is a civil servant with Kogi State Art and Culture, surrounded by his six children at the camp, called on the government to assist them.
But for Muhammed Tanko Adamu, a resident from Bassa local government area, he is still in shock as he said he lost his property overnight to flood.
"We thought it was a joke, but it became clearer when we could not pack our property. It all happened at night, we were sleeping when water entered into our house but before we could get up to pack our property, the house collapsed as it is a mud one.
"My electronics, generator, bag of rice and other food stuff are gone with the water, but I am grateful to God I did not lose any of my family member," he said.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency, Alice Ogedegbe said they have put everything in place to ensure that the people are comfortable at the camp.
She said the government has made adequate preparation for relief materials for the victims, adding that they will always eat three square meals during their stay at the camp.
Anthony Icha whose house was submerged at Gadumo area told Weekly Trust that he built his five-bed room house so that he and his family would not suffer accommodation problem.
"But as at today I am a squarter. I have packed all my property with my children to a friend's house. I just pray that it will soon subside so that I can go back to my house," he said.
The state Commissioner for Environment, Abdurahaman Wuya, said with the development, the government will build a permanent camp to accommodate victims of disasters.
He said the flood would not have been so devastating if the people had not built on the water ways.
According to him, if the people had heed government warning, they would have relocated from the place to another area completely before the flood happened, but they sticked to the area, saying this has been the same story.
The commissioner said she cannot quantify the damages as the ministry and SEMA are still collating data to know the extent of damages so far, warning people no to build on water line.
Meanwhile, the flood has taken over Ganaja road thereby making it difficult for both motorists and pedestrians to pass through, while canoe is being used to ferry people to cross over the flooded part before boarding vehicles.
In Kano State Rehabilitation and Emergency Relief Agency, said in August that 15 persons were killed in a flood that swept through nine local government areas in the state.
Shehu Maitama, the agency's Director of Operations, said the flood destroyed houses and farmlands estimated at N120 million, adding that more than 2,000 families were rendered homeless by the flood.
Maitama said the most affected local government areas were Bagwai, Bebeji, Gabasawa, Garun Malam, Karaye, Nasarawa, and Sumaila, adding that farmlands were also washed away in Doguwa and Tudun Wada local government areas as well.
Sokoto's 1,000 houses for flood victims.
Meanwhile, in Sokoto State where the government announced plans to build 1,000 houses for the victims of the 2010 flood disaster in the state last year, the project is going on in earnest. But many have been concerned that the houses may end up going to powerful local actors instead of the intended beneficiaries and undermine the capacity of the project to achieve its objective of ensuring shelter for the displaced and homeless in the affected local councils.
The over N3.6 billion worth modern houses are being built in three local government areas of Goronyo with 400 houses, Gada 350 houses and Silame, 250 houses. The houses where designed to have boreholes, schools, access roads, clinics, mosques and all other needed social infrastructure.
The recent announcement of completion of the 250 houses in Silame local government area has reawakened concerns that a good number of the houses may not get to the proposed beneficiaries.
But Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Sahabi Isa Gada assured that government is taking steps to ensure that the houses get to the intended beneficiaries.
He said Governor Aliyu Wamakko has approved the committee for the distribution of houses to flood victims in Silame local government area which is charged with the responsibility of allocating the houses to registered flood victims in the area.