The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has called for strict compliance to the urban development regulations for safety of lives and property and to stem down the attendant high rate of casualty from flooding.
Bello made the call when he paid on-the-spot assessment visit to some flooded areas in Lapai, Suleja and Tafa local government areas of the state.
The visit was a follow-up to an earlier one made by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, on the directive of the governor.
Governor Bello noted that the recent collateral and financial loses to flooding were mostly products of non-adherence to urban development regulations as evident in indiscriminate building of structures without recourse to the law, especially on flood or stream plains.
The Governor, who was disturbed by the enormity of the disaster caused by flood in the areas visited, stressed: “All these looses incurred both in human and properties would have been averted if our people adhere strictly to urban development regulations.
“It is glaring that most of the affected structures were on the natural flood path. We have to desist from this unwholesome practice and obey simple laws that are meant for our good.”
At Gawuraka in Tafa Local Government Area, where a dead body washed away by flood was recovered meters away from the victim’s home, the governor directed clearance of all the debris on the overflooded stream to give way for free flow of water and to forestall future disaster.
Bello also visited Checheniya area of Suleja to console a man, Malam Saad Abdullahi, who lost two wives and six children to last week’s flood and inspected the washed away ductile pipes conveying water to Suleja town by the flood at the Second Gate, Field base area of the town.
At Katakiti/Sabo Orehi village in Lapai Local Government Area of the state, where a bridge connecting the local government to Kogi State was washed off, Bello assured residents of the area that a new bridge will be constructed to replace the collapsed one within 40 days by the Niger State Road Maintenance Agency.
He then directed the agency to ensure an alternative route is made available to motorists and villagers.
The Governor had earlier approved the release of N30 million to the Niger State Emergency Management Agency to enable it provide relief materials for flood victims.
Bello had on July 13 visited flood-affected areas within Minna metropolis where he raised concern about disregard for urban regulations.