Flood victims in over 25 communities, mainly rice farmlands, in Ketso local government area of Niger state, that were ravaged with flood, have pleaded for an urgent government intervention.
They also appealed to international organizations to urgently come to their aid in order to curb the impact of the annual flood that has destroyed several farmlands and other valuables.
Ketso the home town of Niger state Deputy Governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, is situated at the bank of River Niger, and has witnessed annual flooding.
Several houses, public buildings and farm produce were said to have been destroyed in the area, leaving residents in abject poverty.
The District Head of the village, Alhaji Yahaya Abdullahi, speaking to Channels Television, disclosed that they were ready for resettlement but are seeking the government’s support in the resettlement process.
He explained that Ketso has 25 other villages under it that were persistently ravaged by flood annually, which had been more devastating due to their location.
However, the village head stated that the first thing to do was to acquire a Certificate Of Occupancy (C of O) of the land allocated to them from Mokwa.
Mr Abdullahi decried that since the construction of Kanji and Jebba Dams, the community had continued to experience more devastating flood incidents, adding that the people upstream were compensated while the downstream of the dam communities, were left on their own to suffer the hardship it had created.
An indigene of the village, Hassan Umar Sonfada also revealed that the people of the area now live in poverty due to the devastating effect of the continues flood on the people, a situation that calls for concern by all.
Sonfada said that the people are ready to relocate to the land allocated to them at Gbedoti in Mokwa local government but handicapped as a result of lack of C of O, which would authenticate their settlement, avoiding future land tussle from the original owners.
He lamented that although the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), had brought relief items such as rice, maize and mosquito nets, they were however insufficient.
Furthermore, he added that they were vulnerable to all kinds of water borne diseases and infections, due to lack of good drinking water and toilet facilities.
The Director General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency(NSEMA), Ahmed Ibrahim Inga, on the other hand, said that huge sums of money had been spent on providing succor for the victims.
According to him, there had been procurement of drugs, food stuffs, building materials, clothing materials, bed covers, blankets, mattresses, as well as outright cash gifts and provision of temporary camps for the victims of the flood disasters in parts of the state.