After 10 years, massive flood take over Kogi communities

Picture used for illustrious purposed. Flooding

After 10 years, massive flood take over Kogi communities

AREWA AGENDA – Exactly ten years after a massive flood submerged several communities in Kogi State, the waters have returned to wreak more havoc. The flood has sacked people from their houses and destroyed invaluable properties including crops and farmlands.

Lokoja, the State capital and Confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue on Saturday night saw the rivers overflowing their banks. By Sunday morning not a few people have been forced out of their houses to lodge with sympathetic friends or relations. Those not lucky to have such privileged relations relocate to refugee camps.

As of Tuesday, a government source revealed that about fifty rooms have been prepared in earmarked schools to house some 10,000 victims. Camps are being opened for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs to mitigate the effects of the disaster.

The most affected communities are in Lokoja, Bassa, Kotonkarffe, Ajaokuta, Ibaji, Ofu and Idah Local Government Areas. Victims of the flood have been counting their losses.

Some victims were seen clutching their water-soaked bags and walking briskly in a drizzling rainfall on Tuesday. Apart from the torrential downpour of a fortnight, the waters are emissions from the overfilled Ladgo Water Reservoir in far away Cameroon.

The flood has taken over a portion of a major road in Kabawa and another in Ganaja village, two major interstate connections. Many travellers were forced to ply the pothole-ridden Zone 8 / Crusher Road to access or exit the ever-busy and equally threatened Lokoja /Abuja highway.

Motorists to or from the Eastern part of the country were forced to endure long agonising hours in Ganaja village. Scores of trailers have been stranded on both sides of the road, with the drivers enduring many nights of immobility.

Some travellers are luckier. The desperate commuters disembark and join among several canoes on brisk business, across the flooded plains. When they cross to the other side, they promptly join another vehicle in continuation of their journey

The canoe paddlers are also believed to be benefitting dubiously from the woes of victims. This is how. They are said to raid movable properties which the victims abandon while fleeing from the waters

Yinusa Abu, a victim who hurriedly fled his house in the Adankolo area of Lokoja on Monday night claimed that his hanger, bed and other properties had been stolen, when he returned with the hope of packing them to safety the following day.

Listen to him. “Only someone with a canoe could have done this. They have stolen the things I left in my room when I fled. This is too bad, benefitting from this type of misfortune. Where will I start from?”

A distraught single mother, Kehinde who was waiting for a tricycle to move her remaining belongings said her concern was how she will survive. “I don’t even know what to do…” She said.

Commissioner for Environment in the State, Victor Omofaiye who along with others inspected facilities at St Paul Primary School, Adankolo IDP Camp called for help from the Federal government, individuals and Non-Government Organizations, and NGOs. He said the flood was massive noting that the government was yet to ascertain the extent of damage or loss.


Credit: PM News