From Rose Ejembi and Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
The Benue State government has stated that 23 victims have died and 116,084 others displaced by recent ravaging flood in the state.
The Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr Emmanuel Shior, disclosed this while briefing reporters in his office in Makurdi on Tuesday.
Shior also disclosed that 11 of the 23 local government areas in the state have been affected by the flood including Guma, Vandeikya, Otukpo, Katsina -Ala, Makurdi, Apa, Agatu, Tarka, Gboko, Gwer West and Logo.
According to him, 74 persons have also been injured with 12, 856 households displaced while 4,411 houses were either lost or submerged in the flood.
While he noted that government was still profiling the affected persons, the SEMA boss said the state government would be providing food stuffs including thousands of bags of rice and cartons of noodles to the affected persons.
He said “in Agatu, most people have left their homes and are taking refuge of the high ways,” a development he described as dangerous saying government has evacuated the affected persons to safer havens in Ogbagaji while others were being profiled.
While noting that the entire water sources in Makurdi and its environs have been polluted, he said the federal government through National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), has also sent a truck with a machine for water purification to provide the affected persons with drinkable water so as to prevent an outbreak of diseases
“I have been in talks with the coordinator of NEMA in the north central and have been assured that the federal government is mobilizing the zonal office with non food items; mattresses, mats, blankets and mosquito nets have started arriving.
He expressed hope that as the materials arrive, the state would reach out to all the affected person in the state.
The Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Habib, represented by the Principal Officer Research and Rescue, John Digha, commiserated with the people and government of Benue State over the flood.
He explained that the water treatment truck provided by the agency was the first phase of interventions.
According to him, the Agency is in the process of procuring and sending relief materials including food and non food items, to states that are affected by the flood.
He said the aim of the truck was to purify water so that the people can have good drinking water and prevent water borne diseases.
“The truck has the capacity of producing 2000 litres of pure drinking water from river water in one hour. It is in our nature to work until we ensure that we have done our best for the people.”