THREE people have been reported dead in Bosso and Chanchaga local government council of Niger State in an early morning flood after heavy downpour.
The rain, which began at about 4am on Saturday morning destroyed and submerged buildings and farms in the affected areas leaving 500 people displaced.
The people were caught unawares by the flood as most of them claimed they were not aware the area was flood prone.
The flood was said to have been caused by the overflowing of the drainage systems in the affected areas which collapsed the MYPA bridge in Bosso and washed away the Mola bridge in Dusten Kura Hausa.
One of the affected residents, Sanusi Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the Dusten Kura victims, confirmed that three people were carried away by the flood, saying that a lot of the residents lost valuables to the flood.
The Ward Head of Dusten Kura, Inuwa Bawa Tokora, said the flood is a yearly occurrence and that government has adopted nonchalant attitude in addressing this yearly disaster.
“I have witnessed four flood since I became the Ward Head but government is not doing anything to address this problem. My suggestion for the solution to this annual flooding would be the construction of drainage system from the FUT Minna down to Minna-Bida road,” he said.
When the flood affected areas were visited, some women could be seen trying to rescue what they could rescue from their already flooded houses while those whose houses were destroyed were seen utterly confused.
In Shanu village, Hadiza Rabiu said she lost all her personal belongings to the flood, adding that all the foodstuff which she brought, hoping it would take her and her family till the end of the month, were all washed away by the flood.
The mother of three lamented over the fact that she and her family no longer have a home as the flood destroyed their house, saying it was God and well-meaning neighbours who helped her to save her children.
She said, “We were fast asleep; when I started feeling and hearing noise of water flowing into the house, my spirit was not at ease. So I stood up and tried to look out through the window and I saw water everywhere and heard people shouting that water is coming.
“Immediately, I started calling for help to save my children because the water level was already increasing in my house. We were helped by neighbours.”
Wiping tears from her eyes, she continued, “The flood took everything, our house collapsed and everything we have, including my money, which is N40, 000 and foodstuffs were washed away.”
The Niger State Acting Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, has paid a sympathy visit to the victims saying government would try its best to bring succour to the affected people.
He directed the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to take inventory of the losses and provide food and non -food relief materials to cushion the victims’ hardship.
The Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Ibrahim Inga, said there are three unconfirmed deaths as the bodies of the victims have not been found or recovered.
He lamented that despite sensitisation on the dangers of building on waterways, a lot of people still go ahead to build on waterways which he attributed to the huge number of losses experienced.
According to Inga, 75 per cent of those affected built on waterways and lived along the river banks.
He however assured that government will make necessary provision for their temporary accommodation.