How flood killed 31, dis­placed 28,000 per­sons in Ji­gawa

The heavy floods de­stroyed farm­lands, leav­ing fam­i­lies in dire need.

Sunday Trust - - PAGE 3 COMMENT - From Aliyu M. Ha­m­agam, Dutse

The flood that wreaked havoc in Ji­gawa State as a re­sult of over­flow of River Hade­jia led to the death of 31 peo­ple while over 100 hectares of farm­lands were washed away across 12 lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas.

Over 28,000 peo­ple were dis­placed in many com­mu­ni­ties as farm­lands lo­cated five kilo­me­ters away from both sides of the river banks have been de­stroyed while some were sacked by the in­creas­ing vol­ume of wa­ter in the over­flow­ing river.

The deaths recorded in Ringim, Taura, Jahun, Miga, Auyo and Birnin Kudu lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas were largely as a re­sult drown­ing, ca­noe mishaps and build­ing col­lapse.

How­ever, the mag­ni­tude of the disas­ter was brought un­der con­trol fol­low­ing the timely in­ter­ven­tion by the af­fected coun­cils and the State Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (SEMA), by sup­ply­ing sand bags to block the em­bank­ments.

The state gov­ern­ment had to order for ca­noes in which 20 have been dis­trib­uted to com­mu­ni­ties that found them­selves en­cir­cled by the wa­ter.

The flood­ing was fur­ther caused as over­flow of Challawa and Tiga dams in Kano which feed the River Hade­jia that passes through 14 lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of Ji­gawa State.

The flood­ing forced most res­i­dents of Auyo to re­lo­cate.

A visit to the IDPs in Dakaiyawa Pri­mary School and in an old build­ing that was once used by British En­gi­neer­ing Com­pany (BEC) in Kaugama and Auyo lo­cal gov­ern­ments in­di­cate the vic­tims are mostly women and chil­dren.

Speak­ing to Daily Trust on Sun­day in the BEC camp, Maryam Ahmed Kah­misu, said she had to re­lo­cate be­cause of safety. She said though the camp was not es­tab­lished by gov­ern­ment vic­tims are pro­vided with food.

Ac­cord­ing to her, in the morn­ing a loaf of bread and some quan­tity of garri, sugar and ground­nut cake were dis­trib­uted.

How­ever, Maryam lamented over the poor hy­giene of the place, say­ing there is no toi­let as well as safe drink­ing wa­ter.

Many of the vic­tims ap­plauded gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts at pro­vid­ing some suc­cour but pleaded with the au­thor­ity to come to their aid by giv­ing them as­sis­tance in order to start re­build­ing their lives.

Dabi in Ringim Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment is one of the worse hit at the early stage of the flood where six per­sons were re­ported dead with three in a ca­noe mishap and the oth­ers in build­ing col­lapse. The ca­noe vic­tims were re­turn­ing to Mara­mawa from Al­gama.

The flood de­stroyed mainly of rice, soghurm, maize, mil­let, toma­toes and gar­den egg farm­lands in Dabi and other vil­lages in Ringim lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas. The coun­cil chair­man, Ab­dul­rashid Illa Ibrahim, lamented that the ar­eas af­fected were the most fer­tile part of the coun­cil and had grossly af­fected the sea­sonal agri­cul­tural yield by a larger pro­por­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to him, many farm­lands were de­stroyed as most cash crops were com­pletely washed away, whereas in the case of ce­real it is only the mil­let which is near har­vest that could be saved.

Al­though many farm­ers that were af­fected are ex­pected to re­turn once the flood sub­sides many will not be able to till the soil again be­cause they may not have the re­sources for re-crop­ping.

Speak­ing to Daily Trust on Sun­day, the chair­man of Ringim Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment chap­ter of All Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ri­ans (AFAN) said in Dabi alone, over 5,000 farm­lands be­long­ing to over 500 farm­ers were washed away, ex­plain­ing that the de­struc­tion has dam­aged about 90 per­cent of what was be­ing ex­pected to be pro­duced this year’s farm­ing sea­son.

Also speak­ing, the chair­man of toma­toes and gar­den egg farm­ers in Kaura, Ah­madu Markalle, said over 100 hectares of toma­toes and gar­den egg were de­stroyed, adding that the farms were washed away in such a man­ner as they had never ex­isted in the area.

He lamented that un­less there was an in­ter­ven­tion with ei­ther farm in­puts or cash re­lief that will en­able farm­ers to go back to farms, many will be out of busi­ness this year.

“About 80 per­cent of toma­toes and gar­den egg pro­duc­tion is af­fected. This sug­gested that there will be acute short­age of the com­modi­ties this year. About 100 hectares of toma­toes and gar­den eggs farms have been washed away while about 90 farm­ers lost their farm­lands in Kaura,” he said.

The Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of State Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (SEMA), Yusuf Sani Babura, who con­firmed the num­ber of deaths and the 501 com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by the flood said, the dev­as­ta­tion was enor­mous as over 100,000 hectares of farm­lands were de­stroyed.

“For now we have pro­vided an im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance to the vic­tims by sup­ply­ing 3,000 bags of garri, 100 bags each of sugar and ground­nut cake. We are giv­ing these be­cause it is a fast food. When we over­come the sit­u­a­tion at hand we will come with more sup­port of other food items.

“There are 28,361 peo­ple dis­placed per­sons from 501 com­mu­ni­ties. Most of the dis­placed are in the seven camps. In Auyo alone, there are five camps while in Kaugama and Mal­lam Madari lo­cal gov­ern­ments there is one each. A hand pump bore­hole was drilled in each of the camp. Health work­ers have been de­ployed as well as suf­fi­cient drugs in each of the camp. We also made toi­let pro­vi­sions,” he said.

Flood vic­tims in BEC IDPs camp

A flooded build­ing

Flooded road lead­ing to Dabi vil­lage

It is wa­ter ev­ery­where

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