From MATHEW JWANTU, Minna
NIGER State residents are still counting their losses resulting from last Saturday’s early hour heavy downpour which claimed three lives leaving over five hundred people displaced due to flooding in Bosso and Chanchaga Local Government Areas of Niger State.
The disaster which submerged over twenty houses destroyed other buildings including shops and farms started at about 4am on Saturday while residents were still asleep.
Some residents while narrating their ordeal said the early morning rain was responsible for the flooding which overflew thereby collapsing the MYPA bridge in Bosso and washing away the Mola bridge in Dutsen Kura Hausa.
In the meantime, Niger State Acting Governor, Muhammad Ahmed Ketso who paid a sympathy visit to the people disclosed that the government has directed the State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to immediately take inventory of losses and provide relief materials comprising of food and non-food items to cushion victims’ hardship.
He further called on the Federal Government and relevant bodies to come and assist the state in addressing the unending disaster caused by flood annually.
Another victim who was counting his losses, Zubairu Abdullahi, disclosed that his animals and fish pond have been wiped away and his entire house destroyed by the water.
According to him, the flood came from drainage which overflowed as a result of the midnight rain, my goats, chickens and thousands of eggs have all been carried away.
Speaking also, the Ward Head (Mai Angwan), Inuwa Bawa Tokura lamented government’s nonchalant approach at addressing the incessant flooding that has affected the areas.
A mother of three, Hadiza Rabiu of Shanu village in Bosso LGA said she lost N40,000, food stuffs and personal effects to the flood.
Also, the Head of Shanu village, Ibrahim Musa told our correspondent that”when the rain started in the early hours of Saturday, I was happy and thanking God that it was going to be a rain of blessing because of our farms, unknowingly to me it was going to wreak havoc. We have lost our farm produces and houses. This is tragic to us.”
Confirming the incident, the Director General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency NSEMA, Ibrahim Inga said there are three unconfirmed cases of deaths and many persons have been displaced.
Speaking on the immediate shelter needs of the displaced people, the DG, NSEMA said over 70% of the affected victims built on waterways but that after taking inventory, the government will make necessary provision for their temporary accommodation.
While calling on the people to stop building along waterways, Inga said over 75 percent of those affected live along the river banks.
Our correspondent who went round reports that one of filling station tank normally buried underground, was seen on the main road along Bosso Makwenkele road causing motorists to take alternative roads to Zungeru even as the flood was low as of the time of filing in this report.