No fewer than 150 communities have been rendered homeless by flood caused by high volumes of water from Benue and Niger rivers in the nine flood prone Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kogi State.
Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Pharm. Sanusi Yahaya, disclosed this while speaking to journalists after stakeholders meeting at tahe state emergency operation centre over the weekend in Lokoja.
The commissioner stated that the State Emergency Operation Centre ( SEOC) had been activated as the state was already experiencing flood emergency as a result of river flooding.
Yahaya, who also doubles as the state Coordinator, Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), said that out of nine LGAs located along the banks of River Niger and Benue, seven LGAs were severely affected while other two were partially affected.
According to him, the LGAs severely affected are: Ibaji, Kogi Koton Karfe, Lokoja, Ofu, Ajaokuta, Omala and Idah, saying over 90 per cent of Ibaji communities have been submerged.
”Particularly, majority of communities at Ibaji are under water, and many households have been affected and displaced.
”As we speak, the water level has risen very high to about 10.60m today in Lokoja from the report of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
”In the last few days, many communities, settlements have been displaced as a result of flooding,” he said.
” Over 20 camps had been opened to accommodate flood victims which were spread across the nine affected LGAs.
” We implore affected communities to relocate to safer places or move to the nearest camps which had been opened by the state and local governments, to avoid loss of lives and property.
” With the activation of the state emergency centre, the state is collaborating with all the relevant stakeholders to make timely appropriate responses.
”The state needs help; while we are working within the resources available to us, we need temporary shelter provision, food, non-food items and water, which the affected victims would need.
”In terms of efforts to document the displaced persons; the profiling is ongoing and we will keep updating the number of the affected households and persons.
”Our officers are in the field profiling, and we have to put it together before we can give out figure, and this figure will keep changing day by day,” he said.
According to him, the number of households as at today (Saturday) at Gadumo axis is 215, Ganaja 176, Galili axis 272, and Adankolo axis 246, under Lokoja and Ajaokuta LGAs.
The commissioner urged the Federal Government through NEMA to come to the aid of the state, while appealing to individuals, organisations and other relevant stakeholders to assist the state.
He disclosed that some flooded communities includes, Adankolo, Gadumo, Egan, Budon, Kinani, Esikaku, Oreza, Edimose, Enumayi, Ogbangede, Iganumo, Bagana, Obakume, and Idirisu.
Others are Edeha, Adabode, Edegaki, Akpaku, Okpaka, Adamogu, Kasemiya, Kpakpazi, Kelebe, Ozahi, Panda, Ikumo, Irenodu, Iganumo, Geregu,