No fewer than ten persons have been reportedly swept away by flood in Guma local government area of Benue state, following days of torrential rains in the state.
Flood Though the remains of one of the victims has been recovered and buried, nine others are still missing after the flood which also swept away huts, houses, farmland and property of inhabitants of communities that surround streams located at Nyiev, Kereke in Udei, Vena at Tse Waku and Ukor along Gbajimba/Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi road. The Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emregency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. Boniface Ortese who made this known in Makurdi lamented the spate of destruction and devastation occasioned by the flood in the affected communities.
Ortese who said the agency had been monitoring the rising water levels of River Benue in the last few months regretted that the flood from the streams was like an ambush which was completely unexpected. He said, “this particular time we are recording flooding in various communities from streams located across the state. We never anticipated it, the disaster came like an ambush because we never expected it from streams, the emphasis had always been on River Benue, and we were at alert, given the warnings we received from various agencies, it is indeed a major disaster.
“So far we have recovered just one of the corpses of ten that were swept away, the other nine are yet to be recovered, it is indeed saddening.” Ortese said his agency had already carried out an assessment of all the streams in the state and had embarked on aggressive enlightenment campaigns in the various communities on the prospect of flood disaster in the state.
“Our discovery is that our streams are rising faster than we expected and this poses grave dangers to our people hence the need to alert those residing very close to such streams to vacate to safer areas.” Ortese stated that over 500 persons had already indicated interest to relocate from their homes adding that the state government had already set aside land for the construction of facilities for displaced persons near Ape Aku housing Estate in the outskirts of Makurdi town.
He said, ”Presidential Committee on Flooding and Rehabilitation is current putting up a gagantic building at Agan, the UNHCR is also doing same do the issue of shelter for the affected persons will soon be addressed permanently.”