Two years after the flood incident that destroyed the ever-busy road linking Tiga and Rurum towns in Bebeji Local Government Area of Kano State, residents are still sharing harrowing experiences.
Since the flood washed off Tiga dam and made the road deplorable, both motorists and other road users have been going through a lot of difficulties as it is yet to receive the needed attention.
As a result of the incident, several farmlands were washed off; the Sarkin Kogi bridge was also affected. Daily Trust on Sunday reports that since them, neither the rehabilitation of the road nor reconstruction of the bridge was carried out.
In a recent visit to the area, our correspondent observed that the condition of the road was getting worse as the narrow passage maintained by Good Samaritans had become more problematic.
While many people struggle to get across with the help of residents who found a new job in helping motorists, this year’s rainy season has further eaten up the narrow passage as erosion takes over the road.
Bello Idris Tiga, a resident of Tiga Hayin Katsinawa, who is one of the people maintaining the narrow passage, told our correspondent that despite their efforts, hope was gradually being lost as they could no longer continue.
“It has been two years since this place got damaged but people are still suffering. This road is a link to many places, including bigger towns and states. From here you go to Rano, up to Plateau State, Bauchi and even Maiduguri.
“Before now, most trailer drivers passed through here because it was easier for them when they were coming from northeastern states.
“We always face different challenges every season. Also, this year, there was flood and the road was blocked. We had to bring in local canoes to take people across. Those who had farms across lost everything. Going to markets became a problem because goods could not be transported. Those trading in animals and grains were especially affected.
“Just recently, a rickety vehicle fell down here while trying to get across, and at the end, lots of properties were lost,” Tiga said.
He further said residents of the area resorted to contributing money to bring sand in an attempt to fill some portions of the road.
“As you can see, the road has started becoming something else. It is eating up gradually to where we are managing to use.
“Now, what we do to help ourselves and others is to bring sand from somewhere else and fill some portions so that the road will not be completely closed.
“Eleven of us stay here 24 hours every day on shift. We are appealing to the government and all concerned persons to look into it for the safety of lives and property,” he added.
Also lamenting the deplorable condition of the road, Umar Muhammad Sani said the level of risk they were exposed to was immeasurable, especially when going to market.
“I am heading to Kasuwar Kwana with these goods and you can see how we are having tough time passing this road. Climbing up here is the most challenging part of it.
“Some weeks ago we even had to pay to be taken across in a local canoe,” he said.
He called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, come to their aid.
“We are suffering, so we are calling on the authorities concerned to please look into the condition of the road. Rainy season should not come back and meet this place like this,” he added.
Daily Trust reported that following the roadblock last year as a result of excess water, students of the technical college from the area were ferried in a canoe to ensure the continuation of their studies despite the level of risk associated with it, as most times, the canoe capsizes with people and claims innocent lives.
Rano, Rurum, Tiga, Durmawa, Boys Quarters, Sarkin Kogi, Sabuwar Kaura, Ruwan Kanya, Gidan Tsamiya, Doka, Gargai and Rantan are some of the communities that directly depend on the road for economic and social activities.
Daily Trust on Sunday recalls that when the dam overflowed two years ago, the then Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, visited the area and called for the closure of the Sarkin Kogi bridge to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians.
Also, when Vice President Kashim Shettima, former governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his deputy, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna visited the place, they pledged government’s commitment to the protection of lives and property of citizens, but so far, nothing has been done to ameliorate the suffering of motorists and pedestrians on this road.