Barely three days after the Niger State Government disclosed that over one hundred communities have been affected by a flood, at least fifteen new communities have been hit by a fresh flood in the Lapai local government area of the state.
The communities include Egba, Achiba, Apataku, Ebwa, Arah, Adunbenku, Old Muye, Reba, Sokun, Edda, Pele, Dere, Eshi, and Yawa.
Several houses have been flooded and farmlands washed away.
An eyewitness Alhaji Zubairu Musa who sent video clips and pictures of the situation to Channels Television Correspondent in Niger State said a lot of properties have also been destroyed.
“Many houses and farmlands have been submerged, destroyed and a lot of properties have been lost so far.
“Some people have been evacuated to a safe place for the safety of their lives,” Musa said in the text accompanying the clips he sent to us.
In the video clips, residents of the Egba community are seen on canoes, making frantic efforts to rescue their children and whatever they could rescue.
A woman by name Maryam Egba said they were asleep at the time the flood happened.
“We were asleep when it all happened. I woke up and found that the water flooded our rooms. There is no place for us to sleep,” Maryam said.
Another woman, Kulu Abdulrahman lamented that they were hungry as the flood had washed away their foodstuff.
“We don’t have what to eat. It’s really a trying moment for us. We appeal to both federal government to come to our aid,” Abdulrahman cried out.
Most riverine communities in Niger State are affected by flooding annually.
Many have attributed the challenge to the presence of three hydroelectric dams in the state, namely, Jebba Dam, Kainji Dam, Tagwai Dam, and the fourth one under construction at Zungeru in Wushishi local government area.
The state Emergency Management Agency has also announced that a more severe type of flooding experience, “Black Flood” could occur still in this year.
According to the Director-General of the agency, Ahmed Inga, neighbouring countries such as Benin, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon may release water from their dams, and Niger State sitting along the River Niger could be badly affected.
The Deputy Governor of the State, Ahmed Ketso during the visit of a team from the National Emergency Management Agency to his office on Thursday had appealed to the Federal government to help in the construction of houses at some of the relocation sites that the state government had secured for the relocation of communities around the riverine areas so as to mitigate losses whenever there is a flood.
He also reiterated the need for the government to support the rural farmers with inputs to enable them to embark on dry season farming which will help them carry on their age-long profession even after they have relocated.