No fewer than 53 people have died in eleven states following flood disasters that displaced more than 100,420 persons this year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that thousands of houses, farmlands and property worth billions of Naira were also lost to the flood disasters in many Local Government Areas affected in the northern states.
NAN also reports that the affected states are Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Jigawa, Adamawa, Yobe, Gombe and Bauchi.
In Kano State, a Director with the State Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SERERA), Alhaji Sabi’u Mohammed, said 12 people lost their lives in the disasters.
“The deceased lost their lives in six Local Government Areas of the state between August and September as a result of the flooding.
“Six persons died in Shonono, two each in Dala and Tudun Wada and one each in Gabasawa and Takai Local Government Areas,” he said.
He told NAN that more than 1, 600 persons were displaced by the flood while property worth millions of Naira was destroyed.
Mohammed explained that officials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had already visited some of affected areas and assessed the situation.
“At our own level we have submitted a comprehensive report to the state government for possible assistance to the victims of the disaster.
“I am happy to inform you that the government had recently approved N15.8 million for the purchase and distribution of relief materials to victims of the flood disaster in Albasu Local Government area,’’ he said.
From Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, NEMA confirmed the death of eleven persons as a result of flooding.
Mr Thickman Tanimu , Deputy Head, Sokoto Zonal Operations Office of NEMA said 10 of the victims died in Zamfara, while a seven-year-old boy died at Kuchi village in Kebbe Local Government of Sokoto State.
Tanimu said that more than 86, 710 hectares valued N1.58 billion were destroyed in the three states.
According to him, a total of 20, 477 homes were also affected, rendering more than 46, 200 people homeless.
He said that the flood affected eight out of the 14 Local Government Areas in Zamafara, which included Shinkafi, Talata Mafara, Gusau, Anka, Tsafe, Bungudu, Zurmi and Maradun.
The official explained that 8, 540 houses and 6,450 hectares of farmland valued at N 260 million were destroyed in the affected areas in the state.
Tanimu further said that 11 out of the 23 Local Governments in Sokoto state were affected by the flood, while two communities in Wurno and Goronyo Local Governments were evacuated.
“The other Local Governments affected were Rabah, Kware, Binji, Kebbe, Gwadabawa, Wamakko, Bodinga, Sokoto North and Sokoto South.”
Tanimu added that, 24,750 people and 6, 922 houses were affected, with 42,800 hectares of farmlands worth N 750 million either totally destroyed or badly affected.
In Kebbi state, the NEMA official said that 10 out of the 21 Local Governments were also affected by the disaster.
They were Argungu, Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Kalgo, Dandi, Bagudo, Yauri, Danko Wasagu and Suru.
He disclosed that 21, 450 people and 5,015 houses were affected, while 37,460 hectares of farmlands worth N 570 million were also destroyed.
According to him, two communities in Birnin Kebbi, namely Wabbako-Fulani and Wabbako-Hausa, have been submerged by the flood.
Tanimu said that the agency had provided food and other essential materials to assist the victims as part of the initial Federal Government’s intervention.
He attributed the high level of losses to the release of water from Bakalori and Goronyo dams located in Zamfara and Sokoto states respectively.
In Kaduna State, the Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Ezekiel Baba, confirmed the death of three people in Kachia Local Government Area of the state.
Bala the three persons died in August following a flood disaster which also destroyed several houses and crops; saying: “We have not had any major flood incident in Kaduna state this year.
“So far, the only areas affected by flood were Kachia, Soba and Kajuru local Government Areas, which was largely due to negligence on the part of the affected communities.
“Many of the affected communities are in the habit of dumping waste in drains, “ he said.
He, however, said that the agency had been conducting series of enlightenment campaign to enlighten the public on the dangers of dumping refuse in drains.
“We have also warned the general public on a possible flood disaster, particularly communities living in flood-prone areas,“ he added.
Similarly, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Ahmed Salihu told NAN that the ministry has assigned contractors to consistently desilt solid waste from drains.
“We have also educated and enlightened all Local Governments likely to be affected by the impending flood based on NiMet’s prediction to be prepared just in case the flood becomes a reality,” he said.
However, NEMA’s North-West Zonal Coordinator, Malam Musa Illalah, attributed the occurrences of flooding partly to disregard to building regulations by the people.
According to him, building houses on water ways predisposes communities to flooding.
Meanwhile, Mahmood Shehu, Director, Disaster Management, Kaduna State Environmental Management Agency, said that the state government had embarked on the enforcement of public health and environmental standard laws.
He explained that the measure was to check careless attitude of residents to environmental laws as part of efforts to avert reoccurrence of flooding in the state.
The director equally said that adequate measures are being taken on risk assessment, planning, early warnings, information management and communication to curb avoidable disasters.
In Katsina State, three persons died and more than 3, 620 people were displaced by flood during the year.
Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkarim, the Acting Executive Director, State Emergency Management Agency, said that the flood disasters were recorded in 15 Local Government Areas of the state.
He listed the councils affected as Baure, Bindawa, Charanchi, Daura, Dutsi and Dandume.
Others were Ingawa, Kusada, Katsina, Malumfashi, Matazu, Mai’adua, Musawa, Sandamu and Zango.
He revealed that the state government had established an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps for victims in the affected areas.
According to him, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has also awarded contract for a permanent IDPs camp in Katsina metropolis at the cost of N156 million.
He said that the project, which was under the Presidential Committee on Flooding Disaster, Relief and Rehabilitation, has reached over 75 per cent completion.
Abdulkarim also said that committee had drilled 10 solar boreholes in flood prone areas, to avoid outbreak of diseases.
He further added that NEMA had distributed 11 trucks loaded with relief materials to the flood victims.
The director said that the agency was enlightening the populace against building on waterways and dumping refuse in the drains.
Abdulkarim further stated that ecological committees had been constituted in all the 34 Local Government Areas of the state to mobilise residents on safe sanitation and environmental habits to avert flood disaster.
The director advised the Katsina State Government to amend existing environmental and sanitation laws to conform to the present realities.
“Some of the punishments contained in the laws are too light to the extent that the offenders will not feel the impact,” he said.