Flood Destroys 5,300 Houses In Kano

Flood in NigeriaThe Kano State Relief And Emergency Agency (SARERA), has confirmed that at least 5,300 houses have been destroyed by flood in six local government areas of Kano State.

According to the Executive Secretary of the Agency, Mr Aliyu Bashir, the affected local government areas include, Bebeji, Dawakin Kudu, Kiru Shanono, Bagwai and Garun Mallam.

Mr Bashir said over 2,300 houses were affected in Dawakin Kudu, while about 600 houses in each of the remaining five areas were also destroyed by the flood.

He added that officials of the agency have undertaken an assessment visit to all the affected areas, so as to determine the extent of damage caused by the flood.

He further noted that the Kano State Government would come to the aid of the victims as an interim measure, as soon as the agency concludes and submits its report.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) issued a flood alert in certain areas.

The North-West zone of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) also issued a warning that about eight local government areas in Kaduna State are likely to be affected by flood.

The Zonal Coordinator of the agency, Musa Ilalah, gave the warning on Tuesday during an interview with Channels Television.

He explained that the agency had alerted communities living very close to river banks to leave the areas before the floods come.

Minister says Nigeria has enough food

The Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina on Saturday affirmed that Nigeria will not face any food crisis as a result of the recent flood disaster that has affected a number of states across the country.

The Minister confirmed that prior to the flood disaster, the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration at its inception, made plans to increase the nation’s food production by 20 million metric tonnes annually and this has led to an addition of about 8.1 million metric tonnes of food to the nation’s food supply for the year 2012.

Mr Adesina, who was a guest on Channels Television’s weekend programme Sunrise, said though a large number of farm lands were affected by the flood, the lost does not translate to a proportionate crop loss.

He said: “there were shocks to the system” as a result of the flood, but we “have a robust plan in place to produce more foods in the dry season and also plans to move farmers to areas of the nation’s arable land that were not affected by the flood”.

“Taraba is one of the most affected states during the peak of the flooding that lasted from October 11-15. 349,000 hectares of land in the state was inundated but that does not mean it will lead to resultant crop-loss. Probably about 100,000 hectares was just affected in terms of crop loss.”

“Also in Anambra, 118,000 hectares of land was affected by the flood but just about 42,000 of the land will lead to crop loss” the Minister explained.

“Nigeria doesn’t have a food crisis and we do not have famine” he affirmed, adding that “we have satellite images and remote sensing data to confirm this.”

The Minister also revealed plans by the federal government to supply improve seeds and fertilizers to farmers across the country, noting that 1.4million farmers have been reached in the last 140 days via the new electronic wallet system that the government introduced to eliminate rent-seekers and politicians involved in the scheme of fertilizers distribution, which he claims never gets to the farmers.

He also explained that the Ministry of Finance is currently working out modalities to guarantee 70 per cent of loans that banks will be giving to agro-allied industries, in a bid to drive down the interest rate of loans to farmers from double digits to a single digit.

This amongst other things were narrated by the Minister of Agriculture has measures taken by the federal government to mitigate against any possible effect of the flood.



WHO to assist Nigeria on post flooding health management

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is set to help Nigeria deal with the health challenges that have trailed the recent flooding in different states of the country.

Director of the Emergency Risk Management and humanitarian response section of WHO, Dr Brennan Richard said there is need to assess and jointly tackle the immediate, medium and long term health impacts of the flooding to avoid crises in the future.

Rising from a meeting with the director-general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi, Dr Richard said a thorough assessment is on-going and the results will be utilized in rendering the needed assistance to Nigerians that have been affected.

NEMA as well declared its preparedness to undertake the task urgently.

Meanwhile, NEMA’s DG has made clear the urgent need to equip emergency response organisations in the country more adequately, especially now that disaster challenges are on the rise in the country.

Alhaji Sidi made this known during the handover of a mobile intensive care unit ambulance to the Nigerian Red Cross society, where he noted that “Nigeria more than ever before needs effective management of disasters by all first response agencies.”

He said timely and critical emergency response can only happen with adequate equipment and strong collaboration, the sort which the Nigeria Red Cross society pledges to give with the appropriate support and equipment.

Delta state seek materials for victims of flood, not money

The Commissioner for Information, Delta State, has appealed to Nigerians, not to send money but materials to assist thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) that currently displaced by the ravaging flood in the oil-rich state.

The spokesman for the Delta state government, Barrister Chike Ogeah, on our breakfast show, Sunrise, stated that “Delta state does not need money but materials to keep the IDPs.”

“If there is money you want to give us, please convert into the needed materials and send it to us.”

The state government has opened centres in Lagos, Abuja and Warri where such donations can be collected.

Describing the precarious condition of the disaster, Barrister Ogeah stated that “three storey buildings are totally submerged in the flood waters.” “Farms, burial sites, sewages, and schools have all washed away, giving room for health concerns on the aftermath of the flood.”

“With the build-up of IDPs, I ask if we are at war because the sights are similar to the era of the Biafra war which seems to re-enacting itself, just that we are not hearing gunshots.” “It seems the state is at war with nature” the agitated official stated.

He further raised the alarm that as the flood has taken over homes, people now fish in their compound and children swim in the water thinking it is the river. “But this is dangerous because fishing in such water is harmful for human consumption because everything in that water is polluted” he warned.

“There are real prospects of an outbreak of disease among displaced residents who depend on the flood water as their only source of drinking water” he added.

According to the Director of Search and Rescue with the National Emergency Service, Mr Charles Otegbade, “what we expressing is the downward movement of the accumulated water from River Niger and River Benue to Delta state” as he spoke about the flood disaster that has also affected the Niger-Delta.

An environmental activist and official of Friends of the Earth, Mr Phillip Jakor, declared that all the communities affected by flood, should be declared Disaster Zones.

Jakor further notes that a pending outbreak of cholera after the flood is imminent just as snakes and scorpions and other dangerous animals now make their ways into people’s homes.

Kogi flood: Movement in jeopardy as residents resort to boats

Although over 19 states of the federation are affected by the ravaging flood, the worse hit appears to be Kogi state, where three weeks after the rise in water level, movement in and out of the state is now via boats, canoes and ferries.

Being  a confluence town and a neighbouring city to the nation’s capital, a number of travelers are currently stranded in the city due to the inundated roads which has affected the Abuja-Lokoja expressway with a number of bridges and roads, submerged.

People are now paying operators of boats and ferries to convey them and their goods in and out of the city.

The state government has  assured that efforts are being made to reduce the effect of the disaster caused by this unprecedented flood.

State and Local government must establish emergency agency-NEMA boss

In the wake of the disappointing rescue efforts for people affected by the flood disaster across the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for state and local government to establish Emergency Agency at their levels, because they are closer to the people.

This will enhance a prompt rescue mission to save lives whenever disasters strike. This was made known by NEMA’s Director of Search and Rescue, Mr Charles Otegbade on our breakfast show, Sunrise.

Responding to why the delay in rescuing people affected by the flood in Kogi which displaced almost a million people and claimed a number of lives, Mr Otegbade, stated that the agency got hold of the flood disaster in Ebaji (Kogi state) by 4PM and that the rescue team arrived at the disaster spot by 10AM the following day.

“We (NEMA) are a national body and the state and local government emergency agencies should have swung into action before our arrival because they are the closest to the people” he stated.

He also noted that the staff of national emergency agency had to be deployed from Benue state, which was already ravaged by the flood before the call came from to Kogi state.

“So the state and local governments must create these local agencies to quickly assist people whenever a disaster happens.”

He called for increased funding for the agency as well as other agencies that could assist in rescue operations.

“Idly, the Federal Fire Service should be the agency that will lead the rescue mission for flood disasters but because the Fire Service is in a dire state, they cannot do anything, all of these agencies need to developed by funding and manpower to enhance the rescue operations when needed.”

He added that “NEMA is essentially a strategic coordinating agency” as he quickly quipped that “but that does not precludes us (NEMA) from the operational tactics at the operational level.”

“NEMA should have just coordinated the efforts of every other agency if they were adequately equipped with equipment and manpower.”

Mr Otegbade stated that over 6,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are currently accommodated in IDP camps in Kogi state.

The rescue expert claimed the excessive rainfall and release of water from the dam in Cameroun were responsible for the flood.

“What we expressing is the downward movement of the accumulated water from River Niger and River Benue to Delta state” as he spoke about the flood disaster that has also affected the Niger-Delta.