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When heavy flood cut off Kano-Maiduguri highway for 2 days

The heavy flood caused a serious embankment along the Kano-Maiduguri highway, the only road that links the two regions. The crack was estimated at to…

The heavy flood caused a serious embankment along the Kano-Maiduguri highway, the only road that links the two regions. The crack was estimated at to be about 100 by 200 metres.

The scene of the incident was located at Masaya River, a village, few kilometres away from Birnin-Kudu town of Jigawa State. Pyramid Trust learnt that the incident occurred in the midnight when the road was less busy.

Although no life was lost, Pyramid Trust gathered that two commercial vehicles full with passengers narrowly escaped falling into the deep crack caused by the embankment. The two drivers, according to findings, were travelling from Kano when suddenly the first driver noticed the deep crack. He, however, ran into the bush in an attempt to avoid falling into it.

The second driver, who was said to be following the first driver closely also followed the footsteps of his colleague by running into the bush after realising what forced his colleague to run into the bush. The drivers and passengers escaped unhurt.

When Pyramid Trust visited the scene it  observed that motorists heading to Gwaram, Bauchi and Gombe from Kano and Dutse, the capital of Jigawa, could only have a stop-over at one side of the bridge and offload their passengers and goods for onward transfer to the other side of the road and vice versa.

Our correspondent further observed that as boats could not be used for transferring both goods and passengers, youths could be seen transferring goods and passengers from one side of the crack to the other at the expense of the passengers and the drivers.

Eyewitness account revealed that the passengers and the drivers moved to the nearby village (Masaya) and spent the night before they continued with their journey the next day.

One of the villagers, Malam Ibrahim Isma’il, told our correspondent that the embankment collapse occurred in the night (Friday, August 6, 2010), as according to him, the community only discovered it in the morning of the fateful Friday.

Malam Isma’il explained further that, “We thank God the Almighty that nobody fell into the bridge in the night. Immediately after the discovery, we put some signs at both sides in order to guide motorists about the danger for them to take precaution.”

Also speaking to Pyramid Trust, the Secretary to Birnin-Kudu Local Government, Malam Muhammad Auwalu Babaldu, said, the crack was caused by a mudslide that resulted from a heavy rainfall experienced the previous night.

He added that, “a day before the unfortunate incident, we had witnessed a heavy rainfall, which caused a serious flood at Masaya river. It was that heavy flood that caused the landslide which led to this unfortunate crack of the road.”

Malam Babaldu said that the local authority had done its own part by informing the state government for further action, adding, “We thank God the Almighty that no one fell victim of the crack.

One of the motorists stranded at the bank of the collapsed bridge, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi, told Sunday Trust that, “I am   on my way to Bauchi State for a special family meeting when suddenly I discovered the unfortunate bridge collapse. I had to go back to Kano until the bridge is re-constructed.”

Abubakar explained that with this development, he has to postpone the meeting until he gets another opportunity of meeting his family, saying “I have already informed the rest of my family members about the situation I found myself on my way to Bauchi.”

However, Jigawa State Government in collaboration with the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and CGC Construction Company have conducted a temporary work on the road last Sunday with a view to enabling motorists continue plying the road.

Speaking to our correspondent, the Zonal Director of the Agency, Engineer O. Obikoya, said the temporary work conducted at the scene was the first measure jointly taken by the trio to restore smooth conduct of commercial and social activities between the north-western and north-eastern part of the country.

Engineer Obikoya explained that, “Even though we have rectified the problem partially, FERMA has dedicated some staff to the area for constant supervision before taking lasting solution to the problem. We have assessed the level of damages caused by the flood and the Agency would soon swing into action to address it.”

In addition, he added that, the Agency has forwarded its report to its headquarters for further action, saying, “You know this kind of disaster occurs unexpectedly and our roads, as you know, are old, hence, we have been experiencing some disasters from time to time. As I am talking to you, I am on my way to Sokoto to assess a similar damage caused by heavy flooding.”

He pointed out that the important thing was that the road was being used by motorists, saying, “FERMA is just mandated for maintenance of roads and the agency will forward its recommendations to the Federal Government for proper action.”

On its part, the state Ministry for Works and Transport confirmed that the state government deemed it necessary to act because the road falls within Jigawa State even though it is a federal road.

According to the Ministry’s spokesman, Alhaji Lawal Garba Kanya, the state Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, directed the Ministry to provide alternative to motorists plying the road before the federal government came up with a lasting solution.

“Based on the directives of the governor, the Ministry collaborated with CGC Construction Company and commencedwork on the road, just to enable motorists continue plying the road,” he added.

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