A heavy downpour which lasted for about 15 hours in Kaduna State has rendered hundreds of people homeless in the state, as flood destroyed many homes.
The bridge connecting the busy Abuja-Kaduna Highway was submerged leaving commuters stranded. The rain which started at about 8p.m. on Tuesday, did not stop until about 1p.m. yesterday, sweeping away many homes, while several were submerged.
Some of the areas affected included Ungwan Boro, Narayi, Ungwan Maigero, Ungwan Romi, Gonin Gora, Tudun Wada, Kigo New Extension, Nasarawa, Ungwan Rimi, Romi, Kabala Doki and Karatudu.
Residents in flood-prone areas said they were taken unawares.
A resident in Ungwan Romi said they were almost killed when their house collapsed.
“We survived by miracle. We were sleeping when the rain was falling, then after sometime, a part of the room collapsed. I quickly woke my family up and we ran inside the rain to one of our relation’s place that was safe,” he said.
When contacted, officials of the state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) could not comment on the incident, saying the agency was still assessing the disaster. Spokesman of the agency Abubakar Adamu Zakari, however said in a telephone interview, that he was too busy to give details of the flood, adding that the disaster displaced a lot of people.
“I am very busy now. So, I am not in a position to give you details of the affected areas, the destruction and the people displaced. We are still assessing the damage, you can call me tomorrow” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has requested the state governments and other stakeholders to match their commitments with action towards addressing the challenges of flood, especially now that some communities are already being devastated by the disaster.
Speaking in Abuja while receiving a delegation from the World Bank that visited the headquarters of the agency, Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi, said the early action would prevent reoccurrence of the huge losses suffered from the 2012 flood.
In a statement issued by NEMA’s Press Officer, Mr. Manzo Ezekiel, Sidi said a high power team from he agency had embarked on advocacy visits to the state governors while official camps were already erected in safe grounds in identified flood prone-areas to accommodate persons that would be displaced by the disaster.
He said the camps are provided with basic facilities such as security, water and sanitation as well as food while it will also prevent the use of public schools by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The statement said since the release of the 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), which indicated the likelihood of flood in some parts of the country, the NEMA had undertaken a series of activities on awareness creation and also secured the commitment of the stakeholders towards proactive measures and building community resilience against the disaster.
“Some of these included early warning alerts, media campaigns, training of community based organisations and consultative meeting with the stakeholders, mapping of the communities at risk and evacuation plan among others,” he said.