Paul Orude Bauchi
Floods have killed 25 people and injured 22 others across Bauchi State.
Governor Bala Mohammed disclosed this when he received the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Mohammed, at the Government House on Wednesday.
Mohammed said that 3,500 houses were destroyed while 2,200 farmlands were washed away in the disasters.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Baba Tela, disclosed that 15 local government areas were devastated with flooding this year.
“I have personally, on behalf of the governor, visited the areas 5 LGAs and have seen the level of devastation of the flood this year, and this is because of the unusual rainfall which was predicted.
“His Excellency himself also visited three local government areas that were inundated with flooding.
“Areas that have not seen water or flood for the last five years or so are now impassable and inundated with a lot of water there.
“We have over 3,500 houses destroyed, over 2,200 farmlands have also been destroyed. And you know in this part of the country we solidly depend on farming so when you have over 2,000 farms destroyed, that will give you an indication of what is to come – lack of food as time goes on.
“In the process of the flooding, we have sadly, lost about 25 lives and that is quite substantial, it is okay to lose something you can replace but lives you can’t replace and we commiserate with those who lost their dear ones in the flooding,.” he said
“We also have those who were injured in the process, about 20 people, who were properly treated and discharged and they have returned to their normal activities.”
The governor said farmlands and houses destroyed by the flooding this year is almost N950 million.
“And you know with the lean resources of the government, N950 million is by no means a small amount of money. This does not include infrastructure that the government will have to put in like if you go to Dambam local government, there is a whole road that was washed away in two places, we had to make a small passway so that people can be able to pass.
“If you go to Shira local government before you get to Disina, there is a place called Bacatma, you’ll see people swimming on the flood or in the water and the road completely cut off,” he stated.
Mohammed who appreciated NEMA and the Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency for their roles in mitigating the issue of flooding in the state this year.
The governor informed the DG that a substantial part of the food that was given to the state by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development through NEMA, had been distributed to the people affected by the flood.
“We have to do what we can do that if we forecast that we will have a lot of rainfall this year or next year, we have do a lot of work in preparing even before the rains come.”
Earlier, in his speech, the Director General of NEMA, Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Mohammed, said that he was in the state on an advocacy visit to go round the country in view of the flood emergency we envisaged.
He commiserated with the government and people of the state particularly those who lost their loved ones and properties during the disasters in the state.
Mohammed who was represented by the Director Liaison Services, Bashir Gargar, lamented that flood has become a recurring experience in Nigeria adding that Bauchi state is among the states known for food production, and the flooding continues to threaten this potential.
He said that the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet) had categorically stated that the country will experience an above normal rainfall in 2020.
“The annual flood outlook this year predicted that 102 local government areas in 28 states fall within the highly probable risk states while 225 local government areas in 36 states including the FCT, fall within the moderately probable risk zones.
“Unfortunately, the predicted floods have started to occur in many parts of the country, Bauchi state not an exception.
“Therefore, it is imperative to activate all plans and measures against the prediction as the season moves to its peak.
“This year, the highly probable risk area in Bauchi state is Zaki LGA and that probable risk areas with minimal expectations are Alkaleri, Bauchi, Jama’are, Itas Gadau, Tafawa Balewa, Shira, Ganjuwa, Kirfi and Bogoro local government areas of Bauchi state,” he stated.
He said that already, floods have been experienced in Dambam, Gamawa, Jamam’are, Warji, Darazo, Itas Gadau, Alkaleri, Zaki and Shira local government areas of Bauchi State.
He said that, “on account of this, the Director General of NEMA, employed me and my team members to extend our Agency’s sympathy to the people of this lovely state.”
He urged the state government to take necessary mitigative measures because this falls under the purview of the Agency.