The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has sympathized with the government and people of Kebbi state following heavy thunderstorms and floods which washed away five bridges in the state.
According to the Kebbi State Emergency Management Agency Chairman Alhaji Sani Dododo , irrigable, low-lying plains in Jiga community were flooded while surrounding villages had their farmlands and farm products including rice,millet and maize destroyed.
Five bridges located in different parts of the state were washed away by heavy rains.
The flood reportedly ravaged through many communities while several villages including Jabbeji and Bagudo have been cut off from the state capital Birnin Kebbi following the collapse of link bridges after the storm.
The Minister described the incident which occurred this week as worrisome after several people were displaced including women and children.
“This is an unfortunate incident and we sympathize with the people affected by the floods. The National Emergency Management Agency NEMA has been directed to embark on rescue operations to relocate the affected persons to a safe location”.
Minister Umar Farouq however restated a forecast of possible heavy rainstorm and floods in six states including Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Bayelsa whose river banks may overflow in September.
She appealed to the Kebbi state government and other states to prepare for the stormy weather ahead.
“Identify high grounds for possible relocation of evacuated Internally Displaced Persons. I also appeal to states to clear all water channels and canals, remove refuse from drainages to allow free flow of flood waters”, the Minister advised.
The State Emergency Agency has already put machinery in motion to setup IDP camps in Ungwan Shayun in Argungu. 400 people are reportedly from the submerged communities while rescue operations are still ongoing in the flooded communities.
The Director Search and Rescue NEMA, Air Commodore Adedokun has already arrived in Sokoto to handover relief materials for flood victims in Kebbi State to SEMA.
NNEKA IKEM ANIBEZE