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Benue: Devastating Flood Displaces Over 90,000 Persons

Heavy and continuous rainfall which caused a surge has dislodged more than 90,000 individuals and wrecked property worth millions of Naira in several areas of Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

Zones more awful hit by the surge incorporate; Media Village, Achusa, Welfare Quarters Extension, Nyiman Layout, Wadata, Wurukum and Naka Road among others, as per the Daily Sun.

Thankfully, no life was lost but some buildings collapsed while major roads have also been submerged in water causing residents to wade through the flood for safety.

 

According to Boniface Ortese, the Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), over 90,000 persons had been displaced in 26 areas of the metropolis adding that Governor Samuel Ortom was already going round some of the affected areas to ascertain the level of destruction.

He listed the areas to be visited by the Governor to include Mobil Oil along Kanshio new layout where a bridge had collapsed thus cutting off a section of the area from other parts of the metropolis, Achusa/ Adeke road, BIPC/ Idye area and Wurukum Market.

The 26 areas affected by the flood in Makurdi according to the SEMA boss are: Achusa, Idye, welfare quarters, mobile barracks, new Kanshio layout, Wadata market, Wurukum market, Gyado villa, Kutcha Utebe, breweries quarters.

Others were Nyiman layout, behind Civil Service Commission, Radio Benue, industrial layout, BIPC quarters, Uniagric road, Katingu area north bank, Genabe, behind officon area, Uniagric study center, behind GTbank, Wadata old prison. Agboughul Wadata, and Demekpe area.

The SEMA boss assured that by the end of the Governor’s assessment tour of some of the affected areas, areas designated as displaced persons camps would be announced to temporarily accommodate stranded victims.

Meanwhile, the State government has said it will embark on a mass demolition of illegal buildings and structures erected on waterways and floodplains in and around Makurdi town to check a repeat of the flood that recently submerged over 2,000 houses

Describing the situation as overwhelming, Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this during an on-the-spot assessment of parts of the town submerged in the devastation.

He further hinted that as a temporary measure, the government would deploy earth moving equipment to create drainage channels in the devastated areas in order to open up drainage channels for the flood to flow. He said:

“We do not have a choice but to embark on demolition of illegal structures and buildings on water ways and drainages if this matter must be addressed appropriately so that people do not continue to suffer in this manner.

“Given the magnitude of the situation at hand, we call on the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the problem because the flood has rendered many residents of Makurdi town homeless.”

While lamenting that the problem came at the time his administration was facing challenges of salary payment, Governor Ortom called on those living in flood prone areas across the state to relocate.

He directed the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, to liaise with the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for the purpose of assisting displaced persons.

He specifically requested the Federal Government to consider the release of ecological funds to Benue State, maintaining that if urgent steps were not taken, the sad experience of 2012 might repeat itself.

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