From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Over 100,000 persons have been displaced while property worth billions of naira destroyed in Benue communities as a result of torrential rainfall.
The three(3) day rainfall which started on Sunday, continued on Monday uptil Tuesday morning caused huge damages to houses and Livestock.
Some of the local government areas affected include, Makurdi, the State capital, Ukum, Logo, Katsina-Ala, Buruku, Agatu and Guma, Governor Samuel Ortom’s country home.
When our correspondent visited the affected areas in Makurdi, including Wadata, Wurukum, Idye, Akpehe and Gboko road, some residents were seen looking stranded while others managed to remove their property
A disabled Mrs. Ruth Dooshima Emmanuel who owns a three(3) bedroom apartment in Kucha Utebe along Gboko road, said she travelled out when Information reached her that her house had been flooded.
“I had to hurry back only to discover that the entire house have been submerged by water. Because of my condition, I find it difficult to remove my belongings. Someone assisted me to do so. I have lost food stuffs and several other property”, she cried out.
Another resident, Josephine Tongyi, a 67 years old farmer expressed shock at the flooding, noting that it had never occurred at this period.
“In the past the flood occurred by September and quickly recedes but this time it is happening in October. We thought the flood will not come again but the heavy down pour of many days resulted to this. I have lost food items, livestock and household equipment. I appeal to Government to assist me”, Josephine passionately pleaded.
Dean, Students’ Affairs Benue State University Prof. Joseph Kerker who owns an estate housing over 25 students of the institution, lamented that the flood is occurring at a time the students are writing examination, noting that it will affect them psychologically.
“In 2012 that we experienced flooding in this area, it has not occurred again. This is beyond my imagination. The students have even displaced at a time they are writing exams and it will really devastate them. I think government should do something about this”, he said.
Same sad tale was narrated by Rita Doki, a staff of Makurdi local government area as well as Terhemba Saachi whose family of 8 including an aged mother was completely displaced even as they lost several chicken and turkeys.
Reacting to the development, the State Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment Dondo Ahire as well as the Executive Secretary, State Emergency Relief Management Agency, SEMA Emmanuel Shior said government is planning to commence camping of victims at the Makurdi International Market.
According to Shior, ‘we have prepared the place for them because we are hoping that the water will not stay for long. As soon as the water recedes, those who can return to their houses would do so and those who cannot, Government will assist them to get alternative places’