From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPADEC) on Monday ranked Benue as the state with the highest frequency of gully erosion.
‘The frequency of erosion in Benue State is higher than any other state in Nigeria in terms of the depth in gully erosion which stands at 35.4 per cent.’
HYPADEC Programme Director Dr Muhammad Akali disclosed this in Makurdi during the presentation of the NEEDs assessment report exercise conducted by the commission in all six states of its operation.
At the one-day stakeholders meeting which was held at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Makurdi, the state capital, Alkali noted that the exercise was conducted in 34 wards of seven local government areas of the state with 6358 households interviewed on specifically identified issues.
He added that from the data generated by the Commission, there is no local government that is not affected by high flooding and erosion in the state.
While listing the seven most affected local government areas in the state to include Buruku, Kwande, Agatu, Kastina-Ala, Guma, Gwer West and Makurdi, Alkali said hepatitis, cholera, malaria and typhoid are the prevalent diseases in the flood-prone communities.
He explained further that Kastina-Ala LGA has the highest level of insecurity followed closely by Agatu and Makurdi local government areas.
HYPADEC Managing Director Abubakar Sadiq, on his part, expressed the commission’s commitment to tackle the many challenges confronting the affected communities.
He revealed that in the next few weeks, the commission would provide 1000 motorcycles to the communities to check incessant attacks while two boreholes would also be constructed in each of the affected seven local government and solar street lights also installed in the localities among others.
Responding, the Deputy Governor of the state, Engr Benson Abounu, urged the commission to match its talk with commensurate visible action stressing that Benue people want to start seeing results as proof of the existence of the commission in the state.