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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Flood: Five dead in Adamawa, Nasarawa orders evacuation from riverine communities

The Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA) has confirmed that flood has claimed no fewer than five lives in different parts of the state.

A flooded community in Adamawa

The Executive Secretary of ADSEMA, Dr Suleiman Muhammad, who made the disclosure in an interview in Yola, the state capital, on Thursday, August 31, 2023, said that several homes and business premises had also been affected by the flood in Fufore, Yola South and Mubi South Local Government Areas.

The executive secretary therefore advised residents of riverine communities in the state to be more vigilant following the recent closure of Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.

He said that the agency recently held a stakeholders meeting where it urged residents of flood prone communities to relocate to safer places.

Muhammad said that sensitisation campaigns concerning the flood were still ongoing across the 21 local government areas of the state.

”Residents of flood prone areas are advised to adhere to the instructions given by experts. They have to be very vigilant.

”More rain will fall, we cannot say that it is over yet. People must be safety conscious,” he said.

The ADSEMA boss expressed the commitment of the agency to effectively perform its role of managing emergency situations in the state.

Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State Government has directed activation of speed boats for evacuation of residents living around the riverine communities as part of measures to mitigate impacts of impending flood.

The directive is contained in a statement issued on Thursday in Lafia by Mr Zachary Allumaga, Director-General, Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA).

Cameroon had recently written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs signifying the intention to open floodgate of Lagdo Dam.

The DG said the state government in an effort to mitigate colossal impacts of the Lagdo Dam directed activation of five speed boats given to flood-prone local government areas for the evacuation exercise.

Allumaga enjoined the communities in the fringes of River Benue to temporarily vacate their homes and relocate in the coming days as precautionary measures to avert loss of lives and property as recorded during 2022 flood episode.

He appealed to chairmen of the local government areas, overseers of development areas, traditional and religious leaders in the affected communities to prevail on their people to move to the higher grounds.

“Sequel to the directive by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to the frontline states on the opening of floodgate of the Lagdodam, flood prone LGAs have been directed to adhere strictly to measures put in place by the state government through NASEMA to minimise flood impacts.

“In an effort to mitigate colossal impacts of Lagdodam, NASEMA has directed that five speed boats provided for five flood prone local government areas be activated for evacuation of people from riverine communities to the  already identified high grounds.

“To this end, the agency is appealing to riverine communities to detach from unwarranted sentiments of ancestral home and take necessary steps to save their lives and loved ones as well as their property,” he said.

Allumaga said the agency had earlier this year embarked on  sensitisation of communities living by the bank of River Benue and other flood-prone local government areas to remind them of the impending danger.

“As included in the mandate of the agency, it saddles with the responsibility to prevent, mitigate disasters through awareness creation, evacuation of victims and provision of relief materials for victims of disasters.

“Others means of awareness creation on the danger of flood exploited by the agency are: press conferences, press releases, interviews and jingles to remind people of the eminent danger pose by flood so as not to farm or build on waterways.

“As a responsible and responsive government under the leadership of Gov. Abdullahi Sule, the state government will continue to support victims of disasters as well as be proactive to prevent and mitigate impacts of disasters,” he said.

By Ibrahim Kado and Oboh Linus

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