7 October 2012

Nigeria: Rage of Nature - Flood Ravages Communities Across the Country

Photo: Vanguard
Areal view of Lokoja, Kogi State…under the siege of flood

Horror came in the shape of suicide in one of the resettlement camps in Kogi State where two victims of the ravaging floods decided to take their own lives. They could not bear the loss of properties. Suicide they wrote. In relief camps in Kogi, 20 people have already died. The conditions are not the best. Two bags of rice for 2000 victims per day: How would it go round?

First it was the flood which ravaged Lokoja and parts of Kogi State that made the headlines just about three weeks ago. Then came more reports of other incidents of flooding across the country! Areas hitherto never imagined would be flooded started recording same in its most destructive forms.

In the reports below from Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Kogi, Kwara and Niger States - nine states in all - it is one lamentation song after another.

In a part of Cross River State, there is even no dry land to bury the dead. It is that bad.

From Minna, Niger State came the bizarre story that displaced people are lobbying to stay in camps because of free food and free medicare they enjoy for now. The only thing that explains that is sheer poverty. At a car washing centre, the owners of four state-of-the-Art cars watched their vehicles submerged by flood waters while they waited for the rains to subside.

In Anambra, it was so bad that by the time Governor Obi got back to where his convoy of cars was parked after inspecting some flooded communities, the water level had risen and the cars had to be moved farther; the governor needed to do the remainder of the trip on foot, inside the flood which got to waist level.

In Patigi, some of their leaders said they last saw this type of flooding over 70 years ago.

In Delta State, some elderly persons had to cling to trees to stay afloat and alive. President Goodluck Jonathan's State, Bayelsa, though accustomed to flooding, witnessed a new form of deluge this year. From the sky, vast lands submerged by water could be seen. Even storey buildings were not spared.

In Benue State, all those on the banks of the River Benue woke up to discover that water had entered their houses. Like a nightmare, a step on the floor from their beds was a step on water, some up to waist level. "We woke up inside water", one of the victims of the flooding lamented!

For the downstream parts of the country, the water levels will still rise as the dams in Cameroun would still be opened again for the release of water. And with the rains, there would be more water from Futa Jalon where the Niger River is fed. It might take few more weeks before the devastation engages another gear, especially for those in the Delta region.

What has been the emergency response? Well, the best on offer is not good enough. Read the following horrific stories and make up your mind.

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