May 29, 2023

Benue Radio Station, Wurukum Market and seven other communities have being submerged following Saturday night heavy downpour in Makurdi.

The State Commissioners for Land, Survey and Solid Minerals, Mr Bernard Unenge, and Water Resources and Environment, Mr Joseph Utsev went round the town for situation report on Sunday.

Ustev explained that the ministry needed adequate funds to mitigate the situation, adding that the disaster was caused by blocked drainages in some areas.

He said that the Transmission House of Radio Benue, Wurukum Market, and Low Level were submerged as a result of the downpour.

Other communities affected were Welfare Quarters, Benue State University community, New Kanshio village, Rice Mill Wadata as well as Idye and Achusa villages.

He urged the Federal Government to include Benue among the states to benefit from the N1.6 billion ecological intervention funds for states affected by flood disasters.

The commissioner said that the state has not received any ecological assistance from the Federal Government since 2013.

“Benue Government is looking for ways in which River Benue can be dredged. This is because by dredging the river, majority of the water can be accommodated to prevent future overflow.

“The ongoing research so far, showed that the preliminary study will cost about N8 billion while the main project will gulp about N300 billion.

“This is where we need Federal Government financial intervention to execute the project, since the funds are much.”

He said that the dredging would also encourage economic activities to be serviced by the state’s Cargo Airport.

Also speaking to NAN, Unenge said that the government would immediately relocate the traders at the Wurukum Market to the International Market.

He said that government was ready to provide additional land for the traders in case the International Market was not sufficient.

The Executive Secretary Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr Boniface Ortese told NAN during the inspection of the affected areas that proactive measures have been put in place to address the situation.

He said that all relevant authorities in the country were communicated, adding that the agency would soon open the IDPs camp at North Bank.

NAN reports that several households, property and electrical polls were destroyed in the state capital.

NAN recalls that no fewer than 4,000 houses were submerged in the 2012 flooding which also destroyed property worth millions of naira.


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