The Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has confirmed that at least 40 persons lost their lives with thousands of people displaced and farmlands submerged in the latest round of devastating flood that ravaged the area.
The Executive Secretary of SEMA, Alhaji Sani Ya’u Babura, who confirmed the loss of lives, said the agency had concluded all arrangements to send emergency relief materials to the victims of the flood.
Babura said efforts were being made to have the correct data of the number of the people displaced and those that lost their farmlands.
Besides, he said the state government would also seek the assistance of the National Emergency Agency (NEMA).
Meanwhile, the Hadejia Emirate Development Association (HEDA) has attributed the perennial flooding in the area to the failure of the past and present administrations at both the state and federal levels to tackle the yearly incident.
The emirate, under Jigawa North East Senatorial District, has eight local government areas (LGAs), comprising Hadejia, Kaugama, Auyo, Malammadori, Birniwa, Gurin, Kirikasanma and Kafin Hausa.
The HEDA Chairman, Alhaji Abdullah Sarki Kafinta, who addressed newsmen in the town, expressed sadness over the plight of Hadejia citizens who lost unquantifiable number of property, houses and lives to the flood.
He also called on federal government to donate seeds of all varieties plus the fingerlings to be planted into the ponds when the flooding is over.
Reacting on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari described the Hadejia floods in Jigawa State that claimed lives and caused massive destruction to rice farms as “unprecedented and devastating.”
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, sympathised with the victims of the floods which, according to received reports, destroyed over 100,000 hectares of rice farms in the State.
The President, while reacting to the tragedy, said it was a setback to agriculture and assured the victims of the incident that government would not abandon them.
He said: “this level of destruction as a result of a natural disaster is unprecedented and devastating.
“This destruction to farmlands is particularly worrisome because it comes at a time my government is vigorously pursuing efforts to boost local rice production and end importation of the commodity.
“Since agriculture is the largest employer of labour and a major source of income for most ordinary Nigerians, the destruction of rice farms in Jigawa State is bad news not only for the victims, but also for the government policy of achieving food sufficiency and food security in the country.”
In a related development, thousands of people were yesterday rendered homeless by flood in Akwana community of Wukari local government area (LGA) of Taraba State.
Daily Trust gathered that the flood was caused by heavy downpour which lasted several hours in the community.
Property worth millions of naira were destroyed in the flood that submerged crops, houses, schools and shops.
The councilor representing the community in Wukari LGA, Mr Tsokwa Nwunuji, described incident as “devastating and worse” as the area had not witnessed such level of destruction the area had witnessed in the last twenty years.
Nwunuji called on Taraba state government and NEMA to provide relief materials to the affected members of the community.
“No life was lost but thousands of members of the community lost their belonging, including food items and other properties,” he said.
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In the same vein, about 150 communities in Niger state have been submerged by heavy rainfall.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, who disclosed on Tuesday while speaking with journalists in Minna, said the flood affected 20 out of the 25 LGAs in the state.
The governor, who said state government could not handle the situation alone because of the magnitude of the disaster, called for the intervention of the federal government and international agencies.
The governor however blamed the development on the opening of the spillway gates of the Kainji Dam which he said was spilling over 6000 metric litres of water every second in addition to similar development in the two other dams in Shiroro and Jebba.
He said such action was the first in the history of the state.
He lamented that the N80billion investment by Sunti Sugar Company in the state had been washed away by flood, rendering several hundreds of farmers and staff of the company jobless.
The governor said the findings arose from the outcome of four different committees sent round the state to assess the extent of the flood, pointing out that some people were reported to have died as a result of the incidents.
The governor suggested the establishment of “Special Intervention Fund” to support the state.
He also asked the federal government to make the Hydro Power Producing Areas Development Commission a reality, saying that he had started consulting the governors of Kwara, Kebbi, and Kogi States on how to ensure the immediate take-off of the commission.