…As NEMA, Delta stakeholders meet over looming flood***
The Katsina State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), on Tuesday confirmed that eight persons had died, while 25,961 buildings were affected by floods in parts of the state.
The SEMA Executive Secretary, Alhaji Babangida Nasamu, told the newsmen in an interview in Katsina that 7,019 hectares of farmlands were also destroyed.
Nasamu, who spoke through the agency’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Umar Mohammed, said that about 17 people sustained various degrees of injuries from the disaster across the state.
He revealed that all the 34 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state had been affected by flood disaster from January 2020 to date.
According to him, 103 houses were affected by floods in Kankara LGA, being the lowest number in the state, while Katsina LGA recorded the highest with 3,568 houses affected.
He further said that about 7,019 hectares of farmlands were submerged by the flood in various parts of the state with crops worth millions of Naira destroyed during the period under review.
He said the agency had already assessed the havoc wreaked by the disaster and assured that the state government would assist the victims in order to ameliorate their plight.
Nasamu further called on the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the aid of the victims.
In a related development, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has embarked on advocacy visit to flood-prone Delta communities to reinforce the state’s preparedness and response to mitigate the effect of the looming flooding in the state.
The Deputy Director Planning in the agency, Hajia Fatima Kazim, who led the delegation to the state, disclosed this at a meeting with relevant stakeholders on Wednesday in Asaba.
Kazim said that the team was in the state to evaluate government’s level of preparedness toward mitigating the impact of flooding in the area.
She called for more collaboration among the stakeholders in order to overcome the disaster.
According to her, the agency earlier in June sent a letter to the stakeholders in the state on how to prepare for the situation.
”We are here to follow up on how far the state has gone in its preparedness to overcoming the impact of flooding in the state.
”We are also here to solicit your support for more collaboration because that is the only way we can achieve a lot.
”You must continue with your preparedness and regular meetings with all stakeholders,” Kazim said.
Earlier, the Director, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Karo Ovemeso, said that flood and its effects had become a perennial problem in Nigeria, defying all known solutions.
He, however, said that in line with the predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), plus the Annual Flood Outlook by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Delta set up a state Flood Management Committee to work with SEMA on ways to mitigate the impact of flooding on the citizenry.
He, therefore, underscored the need for the stakeholders to be on red alert in readiness for the disaster.
He said that the agency had placed jingles in different media platforms to enlighten and sensitise the people on the danger ahead so they could relocate to upland for safety.
He said: “It is pertinent to mention that the jingles are yielding positive responses.
“Our team has been receiving update information concerning the impending flood from various communities across the state.”
Also, CSP Imade Graham in charge of the Special Security Patrol in Delta said: ”We are not unaware of the imminent danger by flood in the state.
”We have been monitoring the activities of SEMA, especially flood alerts, and we promise that the state police command will continue to provide 24-hour security service.”
An official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Auslla Azike, said that the agency would continue to provide security services for the people of the state.
The Acting State Director, National Orientation Agency, Mr Chris Anyabuine, said the agency had continued to hold advocacy on peace building and collaboration among the people of the state.