Lokoja, the Kogi State capital city, is one of the numerous locations severely flooded as a result of torrential rainfall and release of water from the Kainji Dam along the course of the River Niger.
Banda, a town which is about 30 minutes from Lokoja, is also one of the worst hit, with the Lokoja-Abuja Expressway cut into two at this point, making the nation’s capital largely inaccessible by road, a situation made dire by the crisis in the domestic aviation sector.
Residents have resorted to using the canoe to travel to adjoining villages.
Lokoja, Koton Karfi, Idah and Dekinah are among the nine affected Local Government Areas.
In Kogi West Senatorial District, no fewer than 500 houses have been submerged. To ameliorate the effect of the disaster on the people, over 10 camps have been set up. It was learnt that cash and material donations are being received in the camps.
A source close to government described the disaster as frightening, adding that he is more scared as the flood has refused to subside.
About 370,000 persons in over 20 communities have been rendered homeless in Etsako Central, Etsako East and Etsako South East Local Government Areas of Edo State after the River Niger overflowed its banks.
The ravaging flood destroyed everything in its path, including buildings and farmlands.
The affected communities were: Udochi, Osomhegbe, Udaba, Agbavu, Ofukpo, Anegbete, Ukpeko all in Etsako Central LGA; Agenegbode, headquarters of Etsako East LGA and its surrounding villages have been taken over by flood, while Ilushi, Urho, Urhowa and Inyelen in Esan South Esat LGA have been completely destroyed by the flood with the entire people moving to Ubiaja, the council headquarters.
Secondary and primary schools in the affected areas are now housing the people, who were moved down by their various local governmrnts where they are now living as refugees.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Sunday flew over the affected areas in an helicopter to assess the situation.
Speaking at Ekperi Grammar School in Ekperi, where over 10,000 persons are camped by officials of the Etsako Central LGA, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Oshiomhole on Security and Surveillance, Emmanuel Oshiogbhele, called on the Federal Government to urgently come to the aid of the affected communities by providing make-shift shelter, food and drugs to avoid outbreak of epidemics.
Oshiogbhele, who described the disaster as monumental, noted that the situation had gone beyond what the state government could handle.
Similarly, Senate President, David Mark, urged the Federal Government to provide intervention fund for states that are affected by flood to enable them meet the current challenge of relocation of the victims.
Mark stated this after visiting the flood prone areas of Kabawa and Ganaja areas of Lokoja. He donated N500,000 to the victims of the flood, who have been moved to a primary school.
He said: “The effect of this flood is devastating although we thank God that the number of casualty in Kogi is minimal. Notwithstanding, you are entitled to your descent living.
“The Kogi State Government will collaborate with the Federal Government to ensure that you return to your homes as soon as the flood recedes and the rain subsides. But I urge you not to be in a hurry to return home so that you do not develop water borne diseases.
“What I have witnessed in the state as a result of the flood is saddening. I never thought the situation was this unimaginable. I had earlier visited Benue State too. I can say that nobody has seen anything near this in the last 30 years.
“I have seen the effect of the flood and I will contact the agencies responsible for situation like this so that they can come up with what could be done to help salvage this.”