Post-flood Kogi res­i­dents count losses

Weekly Trust - - News - Itodo Daniel Sule, Lokoja

Res­i­dents of Sarkin Noma, a sub­urb of Lokoja, the Kogi State cap­i­tal, which was rav­aged by a flash flood on Thurs­day, are still reel­ing. Daily Trust re­ports that many peo­ple were forced to flee as surg­ing flood wa­ters from a trib­u­tary of River Niger sub­merged their homes and shops in Lokoja fol­low­ing sev­eral hours of tor­ren­tial rain­fall that be­gan at about mid­night till morn­ing.

Our cor­re­spon­dent re­ports that a stream from Ag­baja that flows into the River Niger over­flowed its banks to the high­way around Kporoko area of the pop­u­lar Nat­aco Junc­tion in Lokoja. Sev­eral res­i­den­tial build­ings and shops around the river bank were sub­merged in the rag­ing flood. Also sub­merged are some houses around Felele com­mu­nity in Lokoja.

Mo­torists and com­muters ply­ing the Abuja-Lokoja road were held in traf­fic grid­lock for sev­eral hours when some por­tions of the high­way dis­ap­peared un­der flood wa­ters and it be­came risky to con­tinue with their jour­ney.

When our cor­re­spon­dent vis­ited Sarkin Noma yes­ter­day, res­i­dents were ar­rang­ing what is left of their be­long­ings. A res­i­dent, Us­man Gimba, said the flood has wreaked unimag­in­able havoc on his busi­ness. He said he lost N500,000 worth of items. “We have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing flash floods al­most an­nu­ally be­cause of the shal­low na­ture of the bridge and wa­ter chan­nel. We may still have an­other oc­cur­rence if noth­ing ur­gent is done to ex­pand the bridge and the wa­ter chan­nel,” he said.

Abubakar Mo­hammed, who owns a shop along the Sarkin Noma road, is among those heav­ily-hit by the flood. His goods were af­fected be­cause the shop is sit­u­ated close to the bridge where the wa­ter over­flowed. He said he was at home that fate­ful morn­ing when he was called by a neigh­bour that his shop had been flooded. “I quickly rushed down and dis­cov­ered that the en­tire road lead­ing to my shop has been sub­merged. While items worth over N500,000 were de­stroyed in the rag­ing flood, I was only able to sal­vage some goods, most which were col­lected on credit. I re­ally need as­sis­tance,” he said.

Abubakar added that he wit­nessed the flood of 2012 in which he lost over N2mil­lion, and that the relief ma­te­ri­als dis­bursed by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment dur­ing that in­ci­dent never got to him.

Also, Mo­hammed Sa­maila, who deals in sa­chet wa­ter, told Daily Trust that both of the re­frig­er­a­tors he uses have been da­m­aged by the flood. He said that some of the in­come re­alised from the sales the pre­vi­ous day which he kept in the shop was also washed away. He also called on the state gov­ern­ment to fix the Sarkin-Noma road which he said, has been in a de­plorable con­di­tion for many decades.

Na­tional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (NEMA), said it re­ceived a dis­tress call of an im­mi­nent flood in Sarkin Noma, Ganaja in Lokoja lo­cal gov­ern­ment area and Igalamela-Odolu LGA of Kogi State, among other ar­eas, urg­ing res­i­dents to move to higher ground.

Ac­cord­ing to a press state­ment is­sued by Sani Datti, Head, Me­dia and Pub­lic Re­la­tions of the agency, a team from the agency is due to ar­rive the state for ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.

The road lead­ing to Sarkin-Noma com­mu­nity, a sub­urb of Lokoja after the flood. Itodo Daniel Sule

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.