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Flood Displaces 53,000 Persons In Kogi, Niger

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The Executive Secretary of the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency, Alhasan Ayegba, yesterday said that over 45,000 persons were displaced by flood across the state.

Ayegba said the displaced persons were currently being settled in various internally displaced camps provided by the state government.

Ayegba who stated this in Lokoja when officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) visited some of the places affected by flood in the state, identified affected local government areas as Kogi/Kotonkarfe, Lokoja, Ibaji and Ofu, amongst others.

He expressed concerns that the water level had risen to about 10.30 meters, which he noted, had exceeded the normal levels.

NEMA’s Director of Planning, Research and Forecasting, Vincent Owan, warned that there was possibility of a reoccurrence of the 2012 flood disaster recorded in Kogi State,.

He advised residents on flood plains to immediately relocate to the upland areas or to the Internally Displaced Persons’( IDP) camps provided by the government.

“My first impression is that the flood situation is quite devastating for the fact that all the indices that manifested in the 2012 flood disaster are here, except for the release of water from the Lagdo Dam”, he said.

Also, The flood situation has worsened in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State with natives lamenting that over 8, 000 persons have been displaced and four killed between Saturday and Monday.

The national president of Kakanda Development Association, Ismaila Abdullahi Sokun, said 35 communities were submerged, adding that natives who fled to uplands for safety slept in the open without shelter and food.

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He said the association had engaged the services of boats and canoes operators to evacuate stranded villagers to public facilities upland.

“We have met with the governor and came up with two sites in Kollo and Kuchi communities for permanent relocation of the people of the area as a permanent measures, while six centres have been earmarked as temporary abodes for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)”, he said.

The Director-General of the Niger State Emergency Management (NSEMA), Ahmed Ibrahim Inga, said the figure of displaced persons could be more as the water level kept increasing by the day.

He said the agency had been directed to ensure that those affected by the flood did not suffer. It was learnt that the recent release of water from the Jebba and Kainji Dams further exacerbated the situation in the area which serves as confluence of many rivers.

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