Days after 13 persons were confirmed dead when flood-ravaged nine communities in Niger State, the Governor, Sani Bello, has ordered demolition of structures erected on drainages across the state to prevent loss of lives and property.
Bello stated that aside from removing structures, other measures to prevent future occurrence which includes evacuation of refuse, desilting of water channels, expansion of culverts, opening up of alternative roads, and others have commenced.
He gave the order on Tuesday after visiting victims of the flood that occurred in Suleja, where seven persons also sustained varying degrees of injuries and properties worth millions of naira destroyed during heavy rainfall in about nine communities.
The affected areas include Anguwar Gwari, Almadeenat, Poulosa, Rafin Sanyi, Madalla, BJY Kwanba, Double Tee area, and Anguwar Kuyanbana.
Bello, who described the incident as unfortunate, said that the disaster could have been averted if only the people did not build on the waterways indiscriminately not minding the dangers involved.
He appealed to the residents to cooperate with the relevant environmental agencies that would be relocating them to safer places so as to avoid further recurrence.
“We are saddened by this event that one family lost four children. What do you say to such parents, the best we can do at this point is to pray to God to guide and protect them and to give them the fortitude to bear their losses,” Bello added.
Also, the senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Sani Musa, while sympathizing with the victims, disclosed that he had sponsored a bill on indiscriminate building on the waterways as a solution to flooding in the country.
Musa added that he had informed National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to assist the victims in cushioning effect of the disaster.
In their separate remarks, Alhaji Ahmed Inga, Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency, (NSEMA) and the Chairman, Suleja Local Government, Abdullahi Maje, attributed the incident to human factor and urged residents to often adhere to government’s safety measures.