There is apprehension in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, following the continuous rise of the River Niger and the consequent overflowing onto residential areas.
Lokoja serves as a meeting point of rivers Niger and Benue and yearly comes under threat of flooding at the peak of the rainy season.
Kogi has also consistently made the NIMet chart as one of the flood frontline states.
North Central Trust reports that the water level has risen to what emergency experts described as a very disturbing scenario after the August incident when it submerged houses in communities where the river traversed.
The State Emergency Management Agency had raised an alarm last week that about 70 communities across the local government areas designated as “flood red zones” had been submerged, throwing up immense humanitarian crisis, which it said was beyond the capacity of the state government.
In Lokoja, many houses around Gadumo, Kpata, Poroka, Nataco and Ganaja have been submerged with residents displaced.
Some of the victims, who spoke with our correspondent, said their residences were flooded following a torrential downpour a fortnight ago, adding that the situation was compounded by the ongoing spillage from the river.
Anaja Akubo said he relocated to his younger’s brother’s residence following the submerging of his house along Ganaja road.
“It is devastating because we almost lost everything.
“I have been in shock because despite the extent of flooding and devastation in 2012, the water did not get to our area,” he noted.
At Kpata, Yunusa Usuman said he has moved his family to different locations.
“I couldn’t immediately rent another place because of the condition of things, so I have to share my family members among relations while I squat elsewhere,” he explained.
He said everyone around the area had taken shelter elsewhere because of the disaster.
Along Ganaja road, motorists have been forced into single lane as water encroached onto the expressway.
The situation has caused gridlock within the last four days, with motorists and commuters spending hours trying to navigate through.
The flood has sacked the fish section of the popular old market, forcing dealers to relocate, thereby leaving customers stranded yesterday which was one of the market days.
Maimuna Onehi, a fish seller, said some of their members have been floating since the area got flooded, and called on governments to find lasting solution to what has become a perennial problem.
However, an emergency expert, Mr Atuluku Sule urged residents to brace up for more rain and flooding going by the trend this year.
“NiMet has warmed of the possibility of more rainfall and the consequent flood so it’s imperative for people who are around the danger zones to relocate to safer areas.
“Government at all levels also need to be proactive because the volume of rain and flooding this year as well as the devastation so far, call for urgent emergency response,” he noted.