People in Benue communities who were displaced following the overflow of rivers and some other communities at risk have remained adamant despite warning alert from the National Emergency Management Agency.
Residents of the flooded houses in Makurdi, the Benue State capital and its environs have continued to return to their homes, after being displaced for several days, and after most of their buildings were submerged by water released from the Ladgo dam in Cameroon which rendered thousands homeless.
Although pundits have attributed the quick return of the victims back to their homes to the inability of the state and federal government, to ensure adequate welfare of the displaced people, the lands in question were not allocated to them to build new houses.
58 year - old Mgerem, who was met parking his belonging to his flooded house in Gyado villa said, he is hastened to return to his house, because according to him, the living and health condition in the camp are deplorable, he said.
"They're asking us to move out from the place we've lived all our lives, They're asking us to pull out without any place to go and it's like they're sending us out into the streets, as if we were used furniture, because we don't have enough money to live or start life in any other place, so where do we go from here when we leave? Do we go back to the shelter where we have been? Or do we stay in the camp? They are not concerned about the welfare of the displace person. That's how I feel about the situation going," Mr Idoko said.
Mr Ada is one of the displaced person who in August 2012, were affected by the flood, "We have no intention of leaving our communities, the government should do something and provide an alternative for us and stop telling us to move from low areas."
Mr Simon said, "I lived and worked in this water side together with my wife and raised two kids here for over 20years. I have worked my whole life here, though never making that much money, but am comfortable and happy being here with my family. For the 20years I lived here until the floods came and washed away our house".
Mrs Oche ,her husband and two young daughters were thrown into confusion when torrential rain from the River Benue fell on their village flooding to nearby communities and relatives called out to each other over the storm as the waters rose, each family anxiously weighing the cost of staying against the cost of leaving behind everything they own to the fate of the flood. Mrs Oche said they knew that if they went back they would be risking their daughter's lives.
So after the water receded, they returned home to find many huts being washed away completely, while some like their own was only just upright and badly damage. Even those houses that were still standing had been flushed empty of all families' possessions. Clothing, household utensils, food stuffs, bedding, were all gone, but Mrs Oche was more fortunate than many.
The catastrophic flooding caused by the torrential rainfall killed at least 12000 people in 14 communities I Benue state. For those who have survived the task of rebuilding their lives is underway.
Displaced person in communities who were displaced following the overflow of rivers and some other communities at risk have refuse to adhere to the warning alert from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The agency had contacted the relevant States Governors and stakeholders as well as launched a series of awareness campaigns and advocacy to sensitise the vulnerable communities on measures to be taken. However, some of the communities have remained adamant not to move to any place of safety and resigned their fate to the act of God.
In Jebba, authorities at the Jebba hydroelectric dam has began discrete release of the excess water from the dam to safeguard the facility. The Chief executive officer of the hydroelectric power plant Engineer Lamu Audu attributed the high water level to excessive rainfall this year. A high power assessment team comprising officers of NEMA and the stakeholders including the line ministries visited the dam and some of the threatened communities in Kwara and Niger States. NEMA's Director of Planning Research and Forecasting Dr Charles Agbo who led the team expressed satisfaction with the manner which the excess water is being managed.
During the visit to Jebba and Old Jebba, the two immediate communities located at the downstream of the dam, had been advised to relocate to the higher grounds for safety.
On August 29, 2012, a hurricane called Hurricane Isaac, swept through New Orleans, Louisiana's capital from the Gulf of Mexico. The dangerous storm surged and pushed water over a rural Louisiana levee, leaving some people stranded in their homes and cars, killing at least 23 people and caused flooding and damage in Haiti and Dominican Republic.
In spite of deadly effects of ocean surges, people still find it convenient to live on fragile beaches. Most of the inhabitants of these beaches have no reason to be there. For instance, Kuramo beach harbours more hoodlums and squatters than people with genuine business. Last July, the Police authorities in Lagos reportedly announced a one-week closure of the beach to effect the evacuation of these hoodlums. It was said that most of the victims of the surge were said to be people occupying illegal shanties at the beachfront.
After the damage had been done, the state government came with its bulldozers and demolished the shanties on the beach. As no squatter ever welcomes any demolition by the government, the Kuramo inhabitants were saddened by the turn of events and felt that the state government should have given them adequate notice and alternative sites before demolishing their places of abode.
What the government must do, is to necessary protect the interest of the greater number of the people it governs. Everybody must not live in the township, but those who do not have any visible means of livelihood or who do not have good shelter in the city should be given another alternitive.
In Côte d'Ivoire, the authorities this year ordered some 6,000 families living in flood prone areas in the commercial capital Abidjan to evacuate and gave each family US$300 to find alternative safe housing.
Government should be encouraged to dislodge people wherever there is a sign of impending disaster, after it must have provided temporary shelter for them. Besides, state governments should resuscitate their low-cost housing schemes to provide accommodation for the poor.
State governments should also bring development to rural areas so as to attract people who cannot find their feet in the cities. People could engage in lucrative business such as farming, animal husbandry and cottage industry in the villages to sustain themselves. People who have no business in Lagos, for instance, should be encouraged to return to their states.
In the US, before the recent Hurricane Isaac, thousands of people were warned to leave low-lying areas of Mississippi and Louisiana. Soon after this warning, Mississippi shut down 12 shorefront casinos in the state. The Nigeria Meteorological Agency should warn people ahead of major disasters. And when such warnings come, the government should move and act quickly to evacuate residents of the affected areas in question if they fail to adhere to the warning intensely.