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Heavy downpour claims 2 lives, damages 1,500 houses in 3 Katsina LGAs – SEMA

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Heavy downpour claims 2 lives, damages 1,500 houses in 3 Katsina LGAs – SEMA

The Katsina State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) says over 1,500 houses were affected by the heavy downpour experienced on Monday in three Local Government Areas of the state, according to Alhaji Umar Mohammed, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the agency.

Mohammed told the newsmen on Wednesday in Katsina that out of the number, over 800 houses were affected in Faskari, 400 in Bindawa and 300 in Sabuwa Local Government Areas (LGAs).

He explained that in Bindawa LGA, the heavy rain, which lasted for almost five hours, caused the death of two persons, saying that the agency was already looking at how to assist the victims.

Newsmen recalled that the heavy rain, which started at about 10 a.m on Monday and stopped at about 4 p.m., forced many motorists to abandon their vehicles.

Some of the residents of Katsina metropolis who spoke to newsmen expressed worry over the flooding of some major streets due to the heavy downpour.

Many motorists driving along Kofar Kaura roundabout and some parts of the layout area of the metropolis were able to divert by using a single lane of the road to their various destinations.

Also read: At least 118 dead in Europe floods as search-and-rescue operations continue

One of the motorists,  Malam Muhammad Safana, described the situation as worrisome, saying that the situation could worsen if the heavy rains continued.

“As you have seen, the rain has caused flooding, which filled some major roads in the city, looking for a route to pass, and also some houses were affected.

“As I was passing through the Tudun Katsira layout, some buildings were also affected due to the lack of proper drainage in the areas. Even those areas with the drainage are blocked by refuse, which obstructs the free flow of water during the rainy season,” he said.

Malam Abubakar Sani, another motorist, called on the state government to take immediate measures to prevent further recurrence of such incidents.

“I hope that following this incident, this will serve as a reminder to the state government to take action immediately, to avert future recurrence.” Sani said.

 

Health and Safety

Joint Security Team Rescues 2 Kidnapped Victims in Kebbi

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Joint Security Team Rescues 2 Kidnapped Victims in Kebbi

A joint security team deployed to Suru and Maiyama local government areas of Kebbi on Tuesday rescued two persons abducted by suspected bandits in the areas.

The operation was conducted by operatives of the Nigerian Army, NSCDC, DSS and vigilante groups.

Confirming the story to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, the Director in charge of the Security Service, Cabinet Office, AbdulRahman Zagga, attributed the success to the support of Gov. Nasir Idris in providing all the necessary tools to the agencies.

“Following the consistent efforts of the Kebbi Governor, Dr Nasir Idris in supporting the security agencies operating in the state, a joint team of security operatives on Tuesday successfully rescued two kidnapped victims.

“The operation was successful; we were able to follow the bandits from Giro forest to Boma and down to Zugu Liba forest where the victims were rescued,” he said.

The director said that the kidnappers could no longer withstand the security pressure, thereby, abandoning the kidnapped victims.

He explained that the rescued victims were handed over to the village head and the vigilante chairman of Zugu Liba village for them to be reunited with their families.

He called on the people to support the security operatives with useful information that would assist in effectively discharging their duty of curtailing the challenges of insecurity in the state. 

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Health and Safety

NDLEA Destroys 304,436kg, 40,042 Litres of Drugs in Lagos, Ogun

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NDLEA destroys 304,436kg, 40,042 litres of drugs in Lagos, Ogun

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), on Tuesday in Ibereko Badagry, Lagos, destroyed 304,436 kg and 40,042 litres of illicit substances seized from parts of Lagos and Ogun States.

The Chairman of the Agency, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd), said the open destruction of the seized illicit drugs was in adherence with court orders.

Marwa called for more public support for the ongoing efforts by the NDLEA and other stakeholders to curb the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

“Though a routine exercise and an established process of removing dangerous substances from our society, the public destruction of confiscated illicit drugs is usually conducted at the end of their related cases in court, “ the NDLEA boss said.

The chairman noted that the exhibits being destroyed were of mixed types.

According to him, they include illicit drugs in solid and liquid states, as well as in various classes such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and tramadol, among others.

He said the drugs were seized by NDLEA operatives across different formations of the agency in Lagos and Ogun states, from January 2022 till date, especially at the Lagos seaports, airports, and land borders.

“To be destroyed here today on the order of the court are solid drugs, weighing 304,436.055kg and 40, 042. 621 litres of liquid drugs.

“The sheer volume of the drug haul speaks volumes about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld,” he noted.

Marwa appreciated the traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, the clergy, members of NGOs and CSOs, as well as other stakeholders, who witnessed the ceremony.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Chairman, Badagry West Local Government, Mr Olusegun Onilude, expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the NDLEA in tackling the scourge of illicit drugs in the country.

“Almost all crimes and criminalities are fueled by illicit drugs, so the Lagos State Government appreciates the NDLEA and its leadership in their resolute fight against illicit drugs.

“The volume of illicit drugs being destroyed here today speak volume and every right-thinking person should be worried,” he stated.

Sanwo-Olu also commended the agency for taking the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) social advocacy campaign to schools and communities across the state.

“No doubt, NDLEA is working, and the state will continue to collaborate with the agency and its leadership,” he assured.

It was reported that Marwa on Monday in Lagos, announced that 50,901 drug offenders, including 46 barons, have been arrested in the last three years.

He also said that within the period, the agency successfully prosecuted and convicted 9,034 of them, as well as seized over 7,561 tonnes of illicit substances.

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Health and Safety

31 States, 148 LGAs Risk Severe Floods, FG Warns

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31 States, 148 LGAs Risk Severe Floods, FG Warns

Prof. Joseph Utsev, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, has cautioned that 148 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across 31 states are among the highly probable flood-risk areas for 2024.

Utsev issued this warning during the official unveiling of the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) on Monday in Abuja.

The theme of this year’s AFO is “Promoting the Use of Data Analytics and Modeling for Flood Risk Assessments and Food Security.”

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) leads AFO yearly predictions.

The identified states are Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Kogi.

Others are Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and Yobe.

Utsev emphasised the importance of proactive measures to mitigate potential flood impacts in these areas.

He said there was the need for preparedness, early warning systems, and community engagement to minimise damage to lives and property.

The minister said that the high flood-risk areas spanned from April to November 2024; with potential impacts on population, agriculture, livelihoods, livestock, infrastructure, and the environment.

He highlighted the theme’s alignment with the Presidential Agenda on Food Security as it was central to the current administration’s goal of lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty and advancing towards national prosperity.

Utsev said Nigeria had faced recurrent and severe flood disasters over the years, with 2012 marked as one of the most devastating recorded events.

“The 2022 floods were particularly catastrophic, being termed the worst in the country’s history in terms of impact magnitude.

“The World Bank estimated the total economic damage from the 2022 floods, including damage to residential and nonresidential buildings, infrastructure, productive sectors, and farmlands, at approximately 6.68 billion dollars.

“In response to the ongoing challenges posed by flooding, President Bola Tinubu initiated the National Economic Council Ad-hoc Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness, and Response,’’ he said.

The minister said the committee’s mandate was to proactively develop a comprehensive roadmap aimed at enhancing Nigeria’s flood mitigation, preparedness, adaptation, and communication infrastructure.

Earlier, Prof. Charles Anosike, Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), said that the partnership between NIHSA and his organisation, was pivotal in enhancing the nation’s disaster preparedness.

He said that the collaboration had notably improved efforts in mitigating the impact of flooding through early warning systems.

According to him, it is a critical initiative aimed at addressing the escalating frequency and severity of flooding incidents across the country.

He underscored the imperative of leveraging data, analytics, and modelling in flood risk assessment and management, citing NIMET’s commitment to providing comprehensive meteorological insights for informed decision-making.

Referencing a UNICEF report on the extensive damage inflicted by flooding on agricultural lands in the previous year, he stressed the urgency of integrating forecast information into national policies and interventions.

He reaffirmed NIMET’s dedication to collaborating with NIHSA and other stakeholders to deliver timely and accurate weather forecasts tailored to meet the diverse needs of communities nationwide.

Zubaida Umar, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), underscored the significance of the AFO released by NIHSA.

Umar noted the increasing prevalence of flooding in Nigeria and its devastating consequences, including loss of lives, property damage, displacement, and disruption of livelihoods.

She stressed the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate the impact of flooding across the country.

Umar commended the AFO as a crucial tool for informed decision-making and action to enhance the nation’s preparedness for floods, noting the longstanding partnership between NEMA and NIHSA in flood risk management.

She said that NEMA relied on the AFO to develop its annual Climate Related Hazard preparedness and response strategy, which served as an early warning message for Nigeria.

On his part, Clement Nze, NIHSA Director-General, harped on the need to promote a better understanding of flood risks and implement appropriate mitigation measures to address the challenges of flooding in Nigeria.

He stressed the essential role of encouraging collaboration among disaster risk managers, earth observers, mission makers, and other stakeholders to enhance preparedness and flood control measures.

Nze said the collaborative efforts were critical to effectively managing flood risks and minimising the impact of flooding on communities and infrastructure across the country. 

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