VIDEO: Kumbotso Communities in Kano Pick Dead Bodies after Downpour

VIDEO: Kumbotso Communities in Kano Pick Dead Bodies after Downpour


AREWA AGENDA – For about seven years, the people of Gaida, Unguwan Kwari and Gida Dubu, communities of Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State have been suffering countless loss of lives and properties after heavy downpours every rainy season.

This is because these communities host waterways that takes in large volumes of flood from the Sabon Titi (Madobi) underpass, Ja’in, Dorayi and Sharada Industrial areas, but lacks a concrete drainage system that will properly manage an over flooding of the banks, thereby causing recurring destruction for local residents.

For these people, picking up dead bodies in the aftermath of a rainfall is no longer new, they have lost live stocks and houses have caved in on occupants, pregnant women have lost their lives due to lack of connecting routes and the children may no longer have accessible road to school if full resumption okayed under the circumstance.

A dead body found after one heavy downpour

Arewa Agenda gathered that when the Administration of former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso constructed the Sabon Titi (Madobi) underpass, water usually rises to submerging levels, making it impossible for motorists to ply the route after heavy downpours.

However, recent maintenance work by the Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje Administration solved this puzzle by channelling a drainage that leads into these communities but caused even a greater nightmare for the residents as the drainage channel was left halfway, right behind the Abacha Youth Centre.

Residents of the area are lamenting the situation bitterly. For them, counting loss and grievance is now a seasonal thing as all efforts including official communication for the government to come to their rescue have proved abortive over the years.

According to Ahmad A. Ahmad, a resident of Gaida from the Unguwan Kwari Axis of the community, “Just about two weeks ago, three people died here, same thing some days ago we picked up the body of an old man here. Now, we are even completely cut off from our neighbouring communities. We are calling on the government to please come and save our lives, this is our own little Mecca and we have nowhere else to run to.

“From Sabon Titi to Bakin Gada that links to Maishada Mosque down to Gida Dubu, at least three hundred houses have been affected by this incidence. As a result of this, some people have abandoned their buildings, wives have returned home to their parents. We have so far witnessed the loss of at least fourteen lives here and not even our federal or state representatives have attempted to come to our rescue.” He narrated.

Based on checks by Arewa Agenda, the maintenance work put up by the Ganduje administration led to construction of drainage system on the flanks of Dorayi, Sharada, and the Federal Government Bypass that leads to Bayero University Kano new site from Na’ibawa which were all centralised to pass through these communities.

The water flows through Gaida Kashu to the back of Abacha Youth Centre through Gaida Sangalawa down to Unguwan Kwari, Gaida and Gida Dubu where it wreaks havoc.

The point behind Abacha Youth Centre where the drainage was stopped.

Speaking to Arewa Agenda, the community head of Charanchi Unguwar Kwari, Isa Tukur through his spokesperson Umar Musa Charanchi Unguwar Kwari, said the situation is devastating.

“Sometimes we could just pick bodies on the street, sometimes on doorsteps, sometimes inside the debris of collapsed buildings and so on. If the water level is high we are cut off from the other community and we can’t access our graveyard, sometimes when there is a medical emergency, Gaida is the closest access road but we have to go and do a roundabout somewhere else, the same thing with our schools in Gaida, Panshekara and Danbare areas, once the water level is high, our children have to stay home.

“Under this circumstance when we have cases of pregnant women in labour, we usually give up to faith, if Allah says it’s her destiny, she dies in the condition, if she has long life, she delivers safely this is how we have been living the life. There’s the recent case of a pregnant woman who was being taken to the Panshekara hospital on a tricycle but couldn’t pass through, before they could go and take the alternative long route, she died on the way.

“Charanchi is a region of three village heads, we therefore call on the executive Governor of Kano State, his excellency Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to look at the symbolism of this and take pity on us by coming to our rescue.” He said.

Decrying the situation, another resident Bashir Muazu noted that with the malaria season and other medical emergencies, residents of the community are more vulnerable due to lack of easy access road to health centers.

The points that separates Gaida from Unguwan Kwari. Once water level is high, access to schools, hospitals, businesses and graveyards becomes impossible.

One of the victims, Adamu Abubakar Hassan, who conducted Arewa Agenda round his collapsed building said that even before the incidence on Thursday 6th August, once it’s raining he and his family usually takes cover in houses of neighbours until after the flood before they could return home.

According to Abubakar Sani Bako, the community has sent a letter to the ministry of works and housing which was acknowledged but was not acted upon then they sent a delegation to the Emir’s Palace and the Emirate under the former Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II wrote to the ministry.

“They started querying us that why did we report them to the Emirate then they sent a Deputy Director from the ministry who came as promised and surveyed the whole area, he promised government action and urged us to follow up our correspondence, we kept on following until we were told that our letter has come to the office of the Director works. From there, we never heard anything again.”

Corroborating Abubakar, another resident Dr. Sunusi Dalhatu told Arewa Agenda that according to their follow up, their letters have gotten every necessary quarters within the ministry even the Director Civil Engineering came here to inspect everything and he assured us that our letters were minuited for further action but since 2015 we have not seen any of them again.”

In one of the letters cited by Arewa Agenda, dated 13th November 2015 and addressed to the honourable commissioner for works, the residents of these communities drew the attention of the commissioner to the wanton destruction of lives and properties the flooding is having on their livelihood and pleaded with him to expedite action on the drainage system.

Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards peaceful coexistence and national development through positive narratives.