Downpour submerges houses, markets in Makurdi
Thousands of residents in Makurdi the Benue State capital, have been displaced following a heavy downpour that lasted four hours yesterday, which left hundreds of settlements, houses and markets submerged.
The downpour, which started around 12midnight, lasted for more than four hours. Some of the areas worst hit by the development include Idye village along Zone 4, police headquarters, Radio Benue settlement, Pleasure Travels Coy Limited, Wurukum Market, Wadata Rice Mill area, Gyado Villa on Gboko road, Welfare Quarters, Benue State University community, New Kanshio village, among others.
The Guardian correspondent who went to Radio Benue to observe the situation discovered that the transmitter of the station was submerged in water, as well as the adjoining communities.
At Wurukum market and Pleasure Travel garage, the situation was not different, as shop owners were seen helplessly trying to push water out of their apartments to no avail. It was the same development at Wadata rice mill, where rice stored in many shops, were seen soaked and floating on water. At Idye village, almost the entire community was submerged into the flood.
While speaking with some of the affected residents in Idye, they lamented the lukewarm attitude of government in addressing the perennial challenge of flood in the area.
One of them, John Tavershima, attributed the problem to non-construction of the major drainage that spans from Wurukum through Idye to Assembly quarters, which was awarded to an illustrious son of the state but now abandoned. He called on the government to quickly build the drainage to avert the sufferings its citizens.
Monitoring the havoc caused by the deluge, the Commissioner for Land, Survey and Solid Minerals, Mr. Bernard Unenge and his counterpart at Water Resources and Environment, Mr. Joseph Utsev, described the damaged as immense.
Ustev said the ministry needs adequate funds to mitigate the situation adding that the disaster was caused as a result of blocked drainage, lack of well-constructed drainage in some areas and the prolonged downpour.
However, the Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Boniface Ortese, told The Guardian during the inspection of affected areas that the agency was on top of the situation.
Ortese said proactive measures have been put in place to address the situation, adding that all relevant authorities in the country have been alerted. He added that the agency needs approval from the governor to formerly declare open the IDPs camp at North Bank.
On July 21, the people of Akpehe near Makurdi confirmed flash flooding, with the growing water level from River Benue, the biggest reason to flooding in Benue.
Laz Apir, the spokesperson for the volunteers in the community, the state had suffered much from the consequences of flooding previously, with many residents having to live in private camps because the government offered no formal camps. Unhappily, many schools were shut down for months. So we immediately decided to make awareness ahead of the approaching flood through communal efforts.”
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