Hundreds of travelers have been forced to using canoe as Potiskum/Jakusko road was cut off following massive flood that hit many parts of the state few days ago.
Kanem Trust gathered that the busy Potiskum/Jakusko road that collapsed was a link to about seven local government areas and several other communities with Damaturu the state capital.
- Sources: Bandits collected N68m, motorbikes from Tegina parents
- PODCAST: How To Stop The Ugly Trend Of Communal Clashes
Our correspondent, who visited the scene of the flood, discovered that the road, which was considered to be safest by the motorists because of the activities of insurgents, became deserted leaving only travelers that could afford travelling by canoe.
Nasiru Mohammed Dawasa, a community member in the area said when the road was cut off, residents began offering help for passengers to cross the water on calabash and other local implements.
Dawasa said as the running water increased they became overwhelmed and sought for support of canoe operators from Gashua a neighbouring fishing community around the area.
He said: “Motorist from Potiskum would drive to the point where the road was washed away and alight passengers with their goods.
“The passengers would pay additional N200 naira for the helmsman to drive them on canoe and cross the water point, while other vehicles would be at the other end of the road waiting to pick passengers to continue with their journey.”
He said using canoe to cross is the easiest alternative, instead of driving through a far Bulkachuwa a community in Bauchi state before reaching their destinations.
The majority of the travelers expressed worry and fear as there are no life jackets for them, and the volume of the water keeps on increasing.
Although no single life was lost around the scene, Muhammad Auwal, a driver, said government needs to quickly intervene to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
Responding earlier, the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr Abubakar Aliyu, has assured motorists plying the Gashua-Potiskum axis of prompt government intervention.
Engr Aliyu, who spoke through the Federal Controller of Works in Yobe State, Engr Olusegun Akinmade, after visiting the area, said the Gashua-Potiskum highway was recently damaged by massive flooding as a result of heavy downpour.
“The ministry would deploy the relevant agency to attend to the affected parts of the road in no time,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Yobe state government said it is working closely with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to reconstruct the road.
The Commissioner for Works, Engr Umar Wakili said government has assessed the level of damage and immediate rehabilitation would commence when the rain subsided.
He, however said a temporary route would be established soon to pave way for easy movement of people, livestock and other goods to the markets across the area.