Sequel to the flood disaster in Suleja Local Government Area of Niger State which claimed 13 lives, the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has directed the demolition of all structures built on water-ways in major towns of the State.
The Governor gave the directive when he visited communities affected by flood disaster for a piece of first-hand information and to commiserate with the deceased families as well as Suleja Emirate.
Areas affected by the disaster include Anguwar Gwari, Almadeenat, Poulosa, Rafin Sanyi, Madalla, BJY Kwanba, Double Tee area, and Anguwar Kuyanbana among others.
The record shows that nine (9) persons are still missing, with seven (7) injured where a total of 431 houses including a school and a place of worship are affected.
The Governor who described the incident as unfortunate noted that people are indulged in the habit of building on water-ways indiscriminately not minding the dangers involved, adding that water will always find its way no matter how long it takes.
He appealed to the people of the State to Corporate and support the Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agencies as well as the Local Government Authority when they are out to enforce the directive of identifying houses on water channels, relocating them to safer places with the view to demolishing the houses to avoid recurrence of the disaster.
In the meantime, the government has outlined measures to avoid a reoccurrence of the disaster to include the evacuation of refuse and desilting of water channels, expansion of culverts, and opening up of alternative roads among others.
Sani Bello commiserated with victims of the disaster as they are still counting their losses
One such family is that which lost four (4) of its Six (6) Children to the flood at Anguwan Gwari.
“It is said that one family lost four children. What do you say to such parents, the best we can do at this point is to pray for God to guide and protect them and to give them the peace and strength to bear their losses”. He added.
Also speaking, the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District of the State, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa who also sympathized with the victims pointed out that building indiscriminately on water channels is one of the reasons behind the National Land Drainage bill he sponsored in the upper legislative chamber to proffer solutions to flooding in the country.
The Lawmaker said to cushion the effects of the disaster on the victims, he has communicated with the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as well as signed the necessary documents for possible intervention.
In their separate contributions, the Director-General Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Inga and the Chairman, Suleja Local Government Area Abdullahi Shuaibu Maje identified human factor as responsible for the flooding while calling on residents to always obey Government warnings and adhere to safety measures suggested by disaster experts.
The Governor thereafter visited the Sarkin Zazzau Suleja, Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim at his palace where he commiserated with him over the disaster and intimated him on the measures to be adopted by Government, as well as seek his total support in educating the people under his domain to ensure they cooperate with relevant Government Agencies to avoid building on waterways.
Responding, the Emir of Zazzau Suleja Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim who described the incident as unfortunate despite the earlier warnings, commended the Governor for his visit while appealing to him to come up with a robust plan that will give the town a facelift.
Recently the Niger State Government had in a statement appealed to all Riverine Communities, particularly the flood-prone areas in the State and those situated along the tributaries of river Niger to be cautious and pay attention to the rising water levels in their areas following the predictions by NEMA, NIHSA and NIMET that many Local Government Areas in the State and other States, fall within the highly probable flood risk areas for 2020.