Niger state Govt to provide lasting solution to flood as officials visit affected areas

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The flood first-hand information Committee set up by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state, has visited communities submerged by flood in Lavun Local Government Area to ascertain the extent of the destruction.

A statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mary Noel-Berge, said the delegation led by the  Committee Chairman, Engineer Ibrahim Mohammed Panti, who is also the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure,  while assessing the ravaged communities, said they were there to get firsthand information on the level of damages caused by the flood in the area.

He  added that this was with the view to providing a lasting solution to the perennial flooding affecting communities in the state, as well as see how the government could provide succor to the victims in form of relief materials.

The affected areas in the locality are over 30 with some totally cut off from each other.

Some of the communities the committee visited included; Sachi and Egagi.

Engineer Panti said that flooding is a natural disaster but could be avoided if people hid to flood alert regularly given by relevant authorities.

He said the surest remedy was to resettle the communities that were living on a watercourse, even though he acknowledged the difficulty of the task while hoping that the people will understand that it is for their good.

The Deputy Speaker and member representing Lavun constituency in the State House of Assembly, Jibrin Ndagi Baba, said flooding in the area happens annually, adding that as the government is doing its best to provide them with relief materials, they will continue to sensitize public on the need to leave the flood plains.

He explained that the flood victims are yet to be provided with relief materials because the areas are still waterlogged.

The lawmaker said concerted efforts will be made by the state and national legislators representing the people of the state for the actualization of the Hydro-Electric Power Producing Area Development Commission (HYPADEC) as the commission will go a long way in addressing some of these issues.

Map of Niger state

He assured irrigation farming would be encouraged through the provision of implements to the farmers of affected areas.

The Director-General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) Ahmed Ibrahim Inga, said that the flood has overwhelmed them, adding that resettling the communities is the permanent solution to the perennial flooding in the areas.

He, however, noted that it is a capital intensive project even as it is necessary for the Federal Government and International Community to support the resettling of the communities in the flood plains.

Some members of the community who pleaded with the government to come to their aid said living has become unbearable for them as some have their houses collapsed, food items and farmland washed away, adding that they were sleeping and taking refuge on the road without food or portable drinking water.

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