Not less than 19 persons were confirmed dead while several homes and farmlands destroyed by flood across some communities in 10 local government areas of Kano state, Kano Chronicle can report.
The Executive Secretary, Kano state Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SERERA), Alhaji Ali Bashir confirmed the death of 18 persons while the state Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Abubakar Haruna Aliyu confirmed the death of five others.
The worst hit local government areas include Dawakin Kudu, Kura, Warawa, Minjibir, Gabasawa, Rimingado, Gwarzo, Gaya and Wudil. Findings revealed that in Wudil local government, villages such as Katai, Indabo, Fangale, Darki, Kausani and Laraba were devastated by the disaster.
The SERERA’s executive secretary also said that several other villagers had sustained various degrees of injuries from a recent flood disaster in nine local government areas of the state.
On his part, the RIFAN’s chairman, said a couple of weeks ago, the farmers’ association had raised alarm over a similar incident in which some hectares of rice plantations were consumed by flood in five 5 local government areas of Warawa, Gabasawa, Gaya, Minjibir and Dawakin Kudu.
“The flood claimed five lives and devastated homes and farmlands. A lot of farmlands, the majority of which are rice plantations, have been washed away by the flood as a result of the heavy downpour being experienced recently. We have received disturbing reports that some of our members lost hundreds of hectares of rice plantations and domestic animals,” he said.
The chairman further said that RIFAN had deployed its officials to the affected areas for fact-finding assessment and compilation of a list of the affected members.
“For the fact that most of our members are under the CBN Anchor Borrower programme, we are presently compiling a comprehensive report on the damages done which we will present to our national body for further action in respect to the agreement reached with the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC) and as soon as we finish, we will present our report,” he assured.
A visit to one of the affected communities Fangale Tsibiri community in Wudil local government area revealed that many farmers have now turned into fishing because their farmland was submerged in water.
Malam Usaini Babantiti, one of the victims, said the flood had forced them to abandon their farmlands as working on it couldn’t be possible, saying, “we cannot work on our farmlands, we have been turned into mere spectators as there is nothing we can do. Some of us have turned to fishing to have something to fall back on.”
78-yr-old former agricultural extension worker, Abdulmuminu Adamu Wudil, who is also the chairman, Wudil local RIFAN chapter, stated that the flooding experienced recently was not as a result of heavy downpour, rather he attributed it to water reduced from some dams across the state.
“This is not as a result of heavy rainfall; it was as a result of water released from some dams. Unfortunately, those managing the dams have chosen a wrong time for reducing the water excess from the dam into the water tributes. Just look at the way the water is being lodged in our farms; it is obvious that we have lost all our plantations to the water. I have lost hectares of rice plantation and there are many people who have lost much more than I did,” he narrated.
Basher explained that nine people died in Kura and five others died in Rimingado, Gabasawa local governments and Getso town of Gwarzo local government, adding that about 4,475 people were affected by the disaster in the three affected local government areas.
Consequently, many other villagers in some other affected local government areas are currently facing eviction threats as a result of the repeated flood that overrun their communities, Kano Chronicle, learnt.