From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Torrential rainfall yesterday wreaked havoc on Makurdi, Benue State capital and it’s environs submerging hundreds of houses, destroying properties worth millions of naira and rendering several persons homeless.
The heavy downpour which started at about 2pm on Wednesday, lasted till almost midday Thursday.
When our correspondent visited some of the affected areas, especially around judges quarters, behind Living Faith Church, Naka Road and Achusa as well as Wadata Ricemill, many compounds and rooms were flooded and people’s clothes, chairs, vehicles and foodstuffs were all soaked in water, while building fences also collapsed Narrating her ordeal, a resident at Judges Quarters Gboko Road Makurdi, Mrs. Rose Ikwue said that two of her vehicles were completely submerged under the water.
“Since morning I have been using pumping machine to evacuate water from my rooms,” She added.
Another victim, Mrs Orshi Regina, disclosed that she lost 4,500 fishes, 150 chicken and goats and two bags of garri to the flood.
She called on the Benue State Government to come to her aid and provide palliative measures for her to ameliorate her anguish.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after inspecting some of the affected areas, the state Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Engr. Dondo Ahire warned people and communities located in and near flood prone areas to avoid blockage of water channels.
He added that, government is putting necessary measures in place to address water drainages in the state.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Kachi Menga, said the entire Wurukum Market that was flooded was a result of market being built on water channels, disclosing that government was already making plans to relocate the market to a flood free area.
“We have concluded arrangements to relocate the traders to a safer place from this area, but some people took the state government to court on why the market should not been relocated. However, we have engaged those people in talks to resolve the matter amicably and very soon the traders will relocate to a permanent site because the Wurukum site is a temporary one.”
He said further that, “We are also making arrangements to open drainages in and around the Modern and Wadata markets to avert the markets from being flooded”, Menga said.
While the General Manager, Benue State Urban Development Board, Saint Gbilekaa Abrahams said structures along water ways would be demolished.