- 2, 769 households under siege
Tragedy struck in several parts of Benue State when flood ravaged 24 communities and displacing thousands of persons.
National Daily gathered that the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) disclosed that over 110,000 people in 24 communities, including Makurdi, were displaced by flood in the state.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Boniface Ortese, was said to have revealed in Makurdi that over 2, 769 households were also affected in communities which include Achusa, Idye, Wurukum Market, Genabe, Industrial Layout, Demekpe, Wadata Market, Katungu, behind the Civil Service Commission, Agboughul-Wadata, among others.
Ortese was cited to have highlighted that “In Achusa 200 houses were affected with 5,125 persons displaced. In Idye 217 houses were affected while 5,200 persons were displaced. Also, behind the Civil Service Commission 200 houses were submerged in flood and 5,777 persons were displaced.”
He further narrated that, “At Genabe, 200 houses were affected with 5,021 persons displaced, 218 houses around the Wurukum market were affected with 1,000 persons displaced, and at Wadata market150 houses were affected and 4,300 persons were displaced.
“Similarly, at Industrial Layout, 69 houses were flooded and 4,310 persons displaced; Demekpe 111 houses were affected while 7,820 persons displaced. 137 houses were flooded in Katungu with 6,031 persons displaced while at Agboughul-Wadata 201 houses were affected and 5,728 persons displaced.”
The Executive Director gave the assurance that government was doing everything within its little resources to assist flood victims in the state.
Benue State Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Joseph Utsev, was said to have requested the Federal Government to include Benue among states to benefit from the N1.6 billion Ecological Intervention Fund.
Utsev had bemoaned that since 2013, Benue State had not received any ecological assistance from the Federal Government, adding that many disasters may be mitigated if adequate budgetary provisions were made.
The Commissioner said that dredging the River Benue would provide permanent solution to the recurring flood in the state.
“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 and thus, prevent future overflow,” he said.
“The ongoing research so far, shows that the preliminary study would cost about N8 billion while the main project would gulp about N300 billion.
“And this is where we need Federal Government financial intervention to execute the project, since the funds are much.”