At least three persons have been said to have died as a result of an early hour heavy downpour which left over 500 people displaced in Bosso and Chanchaga Local Government Areas of Niger State.
Some residents while narrating their ordeal said the early morning rain was responsible for the flooding which submerged the MYPA Bridge in Bosso and washed away the Mola Bridge in Dutsen Kura Hausa.
According to victims, the flood, which submerged over 20 houses, destroyed other things, including shops and farms, started at about 4am on Saturday while they were still asleep.
Responding to the incident, the Niger State Acting Governor, Muhammad Ahmed Ketso, said the government has directed the State Emergency Management Agency to immediately take inventory of losses and provide relief materials comprising of food and non-food items to cushion victims’ hardship.
Ketso further called on the Federal Government and relevant bodies to come and assist the state in addressing the unending disaster caused by flood annually.
Speaking on behalf of the Dutsen Kura Hausa victims, Sanusi Mohammed, a businessman, said: “Three persons have been carried away and must have died by now.”
Another victim who was counting his losses, Zubairu Abdullahi, disclosed that his animals and fish pond have been wiped away and his entire house destroyed by the water.
According to Abdullahi, the flood came from a drainage which overflowed as a result of the midnight rain, adding: “My goats, chickens and thousands of eggs have all been carried away.”
Speaking also, the Ward Head (Mai Angwan), Inuwa Bawa Tokura, lamented government’s nonchalant approach to addressing the incessant flooding that has affected the areas.
According to Tokura: “I have witnessed four floods now; the only solution for this flooding is the construction of drainage system from the Federal University of Technology, Minna down to Minna-Bida Road.”
A mother of three, Hadiza Rabiu, of Shanu village in Bosso LGA, said she lost N40,000, food stuffs and personal effects to the flood.
According to Rabiu: “We were fast asleep when the flood came.
“I started calling for help to save my children.
“The flood took everything, our house collapsed and everything we have, including over N40,000, have been washed away.
“Please, government should come to our aid.”
Also, the Head of Shanu village, Ibrahim Musa, told our Correspondent that “when the rain started in the early hours of Saturday, I was happy and thanking God that it was going to be a rain of blessing because of our farms, unknown to me it was going to wreak havoc. We have lost our farm produces and houses. This is tragic to us.”
Confirming the incident, the Director General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Inga, said there are three unconfirmed cases of deaths and many persons have been displaced.
Speaking on the immediate shelter needs of the displaced people, the DG, NSEMA said over 70 per cent of the affected victims built on waterways but that after taking inventory, the government will make necessary provision for their temporary accommodation.
While calling on the people to stop building along waterways, Inga said over 75 per cent of those affected live along the river banks.