…As 7 die in heavy rains in Saudi Arabia***
Dr Muhammad Sulaiman, the Executive Secretary, Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), has confirmed that over 100 villages in seven local government areas in the state had been displaced by flood.
Sulaiman said, on Monday in Yola that the incident was “worst disaster ever experienced in the state”.
He called for emergency assistance from the Federal Government and other humanitarian organisations.
“The current flood situation is the worst so far experienced in the history of the state where about 100 villages in seven local government areas have been sacked.
“In Demsa LGA alone about 36 villages were completely over run while thousands of farmlands and property completely destroyed.
“Yesterday, in Girei Local Government Area on our way to Lavundu village for assessment, we saw how farmers are battling with the flood trying to evacuate what is left of their affected rice and maize,’’ Sulaiman said.
He said the agency in collaboration with the police Marine had deployed officers to rescue members of some communities trapped by the flood in some remote areas along the banks of River Benue.
He said that the agency had so far established about six Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Yola South and Yola North, adding that more camps will be established in other affected areas.
According to the executive secretary, the agency is still on emergency and quick response mission to rescue more trapped communities.
“The local government areas affected include Fufore, Yola South, Yola North, Girei, Demsa, Numan and Lamurde,’’ he said.
Also reacting to the development, Mr Fenny Fwa, the Acting Murum Mbula of Mbula Chiefdom in Demsa local government area, said that about 28 villages in two districts of Mbula chiefdom were completely submerged by the flood.
“About 28 villages and thousands of farmlands in Mbula chiefdom were completely submerged by the flood.
“Our people are in devastating situation and they need urgent government attention to avoid any unnecessary disease outbreak and famine.
“We also need emergency relief materials because hundreds of our communities are displaced by the flood and they are currently camped in schools while others are in open areas,” Fwa lamented.
The monarch said that there was no report of loss of life from the flood so far, but he complained of destruction of thousands of hectares of farmlands and other valuable properties.
Similarly, Alhaji Idris Dasin, the Secretary, Adamawa branch of the National Association of Dry Season and Perishable Farmers and Dealers, said the flood had affected their members seriously.
Dasin said that the flood has destroyed almost 90 per cent of all dry season and perishable farm products including onion, tomatoes, pepper, rice and maize in seven local government areas located along the banks of river Benue.
“The current flood has affected about 7,000 of our members in seven local government areas that include Fufore, Yola South, Yola North, Girei, Demsa, Numan and Lamurde.
“Because these areas mentioned produced 70 per cent of all perishable commodities as well as rice and maize in the state; we are calling for quick interventions from concerned government agencies and related humanitarian organisations.
“From the recent development, there will be the possibility of food insecurity in the state if necessary actions are not taken,” Dasin expressed concern.
He said the water is still overflowing some places that were not even along the riverine areas and called for urgent help.
Mr Linus Istafanus, a fisherman and farmer at Bwaronji village in Yola North local government, said they lost all their fishing materials and farmlands to the flood.
“Even the 2012 flood that followed the release of water from Lagdo dam in neighbouring Cameroon has not caused destruction like the current one, because the previous flood occurred between August and September in 2012.
“But the current flood took us by surprise, because it is unusual to experience flood in October.
“I am 56 years old and I have never experienced a devastating flood like this one in my life,” Istifanus lamented.
In the meantime, at least seven people have died and 11 others have been wounded in heavy rains and flooding in Saudi Arabia’s eastern region, the Saudi Civil Defence Department said on Monday.
The casualties occurred in Hafar al-Batin province since the torrential rains began on Friday until Sunday night, a civil defence spokesman in the eastern region was quoted as saying by official news agency SPA.
The spokesman added that 16 people were evacuated, seven were sheltered and 40 vehicles and three houses were damaged.
A number of people and one vehicle were trapped due to the rains, according to reports received by the civil defence.