Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Heaven literally opened as rains pour ceaselessly in Maiduguri, Borno State capital from on Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon, causing flood in most parts of the city.
The rain which started at about 11pm on Tuesday continued till Wednesday. But as many residents were making frantic efforts to remove their household items and vehicles with flood surging into their homes, the rainfall returned again and lasted till 1pm.
“This is strange. We hardly get this kind of rain in Maiduguri in August. We were thinking the rainy season was going but the rain kept pouring as if the heaven was opened on our land,” Bakura Ali, a resident told our correspondent.
“It is terrible and disturbing,” Fidelix Enejoh said after visiting a neighbourhood submerged in water. He said the family escaped death by the whisker as a parameter fence nearby collapsed and fell on the house while the family was preparing to go to bed.
Areas affected included old and new GRA, Damboa road, Pompumari, Bulumkutu-old Airport road, Abuja-Talakawa, Baga road, Ajilari-Cross among others.
The Bakassi IDPs camp located at the outskirt of the city was worse hit as over a dozen houses, tents and toilets were submerged in water.
Bukar Umar, an IDP told our correspondent the situation had become worse since last Saturday. “The last Saturday rain caused flood here. Many IDPs could not move out of their abode while some abandoned their tents already submerged in water,” he said.
Residents and officials of the state environmental protection agency traded blames on the causes of the flooding.
An official of the agency who spoke on condition of anonymity attributed the cause of the flood to poor disposal of waste by most residents. “Most residents abandoned the waste bins provided by the government and pour waste in drainages, making them to block the passage of water,” the official said.
Residents also blamed the agency for not evacuating waste from the sideways after clearance exercise. “The agency evacuated dirt from drainages in the metropolis but refused to park them and the dirty poured back into the drainages with the heavy rain,” Hamisu Bala, a resident said.
Head of the agency, Malam Nasiru Ali Surundi, could not be reached for comment as at press time.