22 September 2012

Nigeria: Flood Kills 69 in Four States

A combination of natural and man-made flood disasters have claimed 69 lives across Ebonyi, Jigawa, Kogi and Niger states most these tragic deaths occurred this week.

In Lokoja, Kogi State, the underbelly of the nation's poor road network was exposed yesterday as the River Niger broke its banks to take over the Abuja-Lokoja road, effectively holding hostage hapless citizens making their way to either the north or the southern parts of the country.

The volume of the river rose to unprecedented level following the release of water from Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams. Some major roads in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, were also affected by incident.

Sadly, six people were killed at the flooded Banda village on the Abuja-Lokoja when the canoe in which they were trying to escape from the flood capsized.

Chairman, Nigeria Red Cross Society, Kogi State, Mr Mustafa Allah-Dey, disclosed this yesterday in Lokoja during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Allah-Dey said that the tragedy occurred late on Thursday evening. He said that Red Cross officials who had arrived at the village to rescue victims of the flood could not help due to the high water current, adding that some youths who had joined his organisation in the rescue bid did their best to no avail.

Also, chairman, Jigawa Flood Control Committee, Abdulkadir Jinjiri, yesterday said 13 people lost their lives and more than 36,000 houses were destroyed by flood that ravaged some parts of the state.

Jinjiri told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse that about 400,000 farmlands were submerged by the flood, which affected 18 local governmentt areas in the state.

Similarly, a heavy flood that occurred in some communities in Izzi LGA of Ebonyi on Thursday killed three persons and destroyed property worth millions of naira.

The flood affected Igbeagu, Ebia, Izzi, Ominyi, Nnodo, among others, which share boundaries with Cross River.

The flood destroyed houses and farmlands and rendered many residents of the affected communities homeless.

Executive secretary, Ebonyi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Igboke Umunna, confirmed the deaths and said efforts would be made to alleviate the plight of other victims as well as check future occurrence.

A preliminary report released by the Niger State government has shown that over 47 lives have been lost so far to flood disaster in the state.

Director-general, Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Mohammad Shaba, who released the report yesterday to journalists, said the state has lost farmland and products worth N1 billion to the flood.

He said that victims of the flood, which affected 14 local government areas of the state and had about 1,000 households displaced, now stay in camps set up by the agency.

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