When River Niger sacked 15 com­mu­ni­ties, dis­placed 1000 in Kebbi

Sunday Trust - - PAGE 3 COMMENT - A lo­cal fer­ry­ing some of his prop­er­ties in ca­noe from the flooded com­mu­ni­ties Deputy chair­man of Dandi Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and other of­fi­cials in ca­noe dur­ing as­sess­ment tour of the sub­merged com­mu­ni­ties at Dole-Kaina IDPs queu­ing to fetch wa­ter at the camp

From Is­mail Ade­bayo, Birnin Kebbi

Last week, the River Niger over­flowed its banks and un­leashed havoc on over 15 com­mu­ni­ties at the bor­der towns of Dole-Kaina and Bagudo in Kebbi State. Over 700 houses, prop­erty, live­stock and crops about to be har­vested were lost to the flood.

Ac­cord­ing the State Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (SEMA), 115 house­holds, 155 women and 567 chil­dren were af­fected at Dole-Kaina and over 1000 peo­ple were said to have been dis­placed in the af­fected com­mu­ni­ties.

Some of the com­mu­ni­ties that were sub­merged in­clude Shi­yar Ma­gaji, Shi­yar Kokari, Sabon Gari, Mana­hare, Tun­gar Noma and DoleKaina all in Dandi Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area. Oth­ers are Tun­gar Mai Goda, Bakin Wuya, Malami, Kan­shiba, Tun­gar Tutu, Tun­gar Giris and Tun­gar Lalea in Bagudo.

One of the vic­tims, Adamu Mudi Dole-Kaina, said, “I lost ev­ery­thing I had to the flood. My house and farm­lands were com­pletely sub­merged. As I speak to you what I have left with me are my wife and six chil­dren.

“We must thank the gov­ern­ment for com­ing quickly to re­move us from the flooded area. We have nowhere to go. Wa­ter has taken over ev­ery­where, but we were lucky they took us out and re­set­tled us here. Since we ar­rived here they have been tak­ing good care of us as the gov­er­nor di­rected. We want gov­ern­ment to re­lo­cate us to an­other area where we would not be threat­ened in fu­ture by flood, Dole-Kaina said.

A 69-year-old widow, Ha­jiya Kulu Musa, said on the day of the flood, she woke up to dis­cover that wa­ter com­ing from the nearby River Niger had com­pletely taken over their com­mu­nity.

“We quickly rushed out for safety and in no time gov­ern­ment peo­ple came to res­cue us. It is over six days now that we were brought to this camp. I am a widow; I have 19 chil­dren and more than 47 grand­chil­dren. I don’t know what would have hap­pened to my fam­ily if they had not come for us.

“I am re­ally grate­ful to Almighty God and the gov­er­nor for all they are do­ing to as­sist us, but we want them to re­lo­cate us. We don’t want to go back to our com­mu­nity for fear of re­cur­rence of this kind of in­ci­dent. We are too close to the river, Ha­jiya Kulu lamented.

Jemila Zakariya, a housewife with four chil­dren, told our cor­re­spon­dent that, “This is our fifth day in this camp. We thank God even though we lost all that we had to the flood but we are alive. We are be­ing well taken care of. They brought dif­fer­ent food items, mos­quito nets and med­i­cal per­son­nel here for our well­be­ing and that of our chil­dren.”

The Chief of Staff to the Gov­er­nor, Al­haji Suleiman Ar­gungu, who is also the chair­man of the com­mit­tee set up by the state gov­ern­ment to deal with the flood in­ci­dent told our cor­re­spon­dent that they had made as­sess­ment of the sit­u­a­tion in all the af­fected ar­eas of Dole-Kaina and Bagudo and that mea­sures were be­ing taken to deal with it.

“The IDPs have been re­set­tled at Lolo Pri­mary School and nec­es­sary food and med­i­cal sup­plies have been pro­cured for their wel­fare. The gov­er­nor has de­ployed rel­e­vant agen­cies to deal with the emer­gency sit­u­a­tion of the IDPs and the State Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (SEMA) has been di­rected to con­tact rel­e­vant na­tional emer­gency agen­cies such as NEMA,” the chief of staff con­cluded.

While speak­ing on the de­vel­op­ment, Chair­man of Dandi Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area, Al­haji Sal­ihu Kamba Dila, said, “I was in Saudi Ara­bia for Hajj when they called to tell me about the un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent in­volv­ing some of the com­mu­ni­ties in Dole-Kaina

“The bor­der mar­ket was com­pletely sub­merged. The River Niger over­flowed its banks and sub­merged eight of the com­mu­ni­ties in this area. It was beyond what we could han­dle be­cause over 700 house­holds and prop­erty were af­fected. So we quickly in­formed the state gov­ern­ment. The gov­er­nor was here to see how the flood de­stroyed the com­mu­ni­ties and he im­me­di­ately or­dered that a pri­mary school be used for their tem­po­rary re­set­tle­ment and made pro­vi­sion for their wel­fare, Dila said.

While our cor­re­spon­dent was be­ing con­ducted round the sub­merged com­mu­ni­ties, the Sec­re­tary of Dandi Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Coun­cil, Al­haji Lawali Garba Al­wasa, said, “We had gone round the com­mu­ni­ties in a ca­noe and you have seen how dev­as­tat­ing the sit­u­a­tion is. Over 700 houses were af­fected; many of their live­stock, food­stuff and grains about to be har­vested were com­pletely de­stroyed in the var­i­ous farm­lands. As we speak, we can­not quan­tify the ex­tent of the dam­age be­cause more com­mu­ni­ties are still be­ing sub­merged due to heavy rain­fall.

“Many of our peo­ple were dis­placed and are cur­rently re­set­tled at a pri­mary school at Dole-Kaina on the or­der of the state gov­er­nor. They brought grains, mat­tresses, medicine, wa­ter tanks and other essen­tial needs to al­le­vi­ate their suf­fer­ing. We still need more sup­port from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and other hu­man­i­tar­ian agen­cies to cater for the need of the over 1000 IDPs.”

On the health of the IDPs, the As­sis­tant Chief Nurs­ing Of­fi­cer at the Bor­der Hospi­tal, Dole-Kaina, Lawali Saidu, told Daily Trust that the ma­jor sick­nesses so far recorded at the camp were vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea.

Saidu said, “We have taken mea­sures to curb the spread of cholera here. We have taken the sam­ples of stool and vomit.”

He lamented that, “There are 11 health per­son­nel here. We need more qual­i­fied med­i­cal per­son­nel: a doc­tor and two nurses, to as­sist us.”

Zakariya Haruna, who is the deputy camp co­or­di­na­tor, said, “We suf­fered many losses, the flood has taken away ev­ery­thing we had. I could not re­move any­thing from my house. All I have left is this clothe on me, but I thank God that I am alive with my two wives and six chil­dren.”

The Act­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the State Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (SEMA), Al­haji Ab­bas Rabiu, told our cor­re­spon­dent that he got the re­port on the flood in­ci­dent on the evening of Septem­ber 9 and that, “The fol­low­ing day we moved into the af­fected com­mu­ni­ties at Dole Kaina with ca­noes to evac­u­ate the peo­ple.


Peo­ple are be­ing taken in ca­noe from the af­fected com­mu­ni­ties to high­land ar­eas

Food be­ing pre­pared for the IDPs

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.