By Kola Adeyemi
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State on Tuesday said that no fewer than 10,000 families had been displaced by flooding in seven local government areas of the state.
Bello, who spoke during a tour of flood ravaged areas of Lokoja, listed the affected local governments to include Lokoja, Ibaji, Igalamela -Odolu, Ajaokuta, Kogi and Bassa.
He said that farmers were particularly hard hit as they lost their houses, farmlands and livestock to the floods.
The governor said that many communities in the state were always at the receiving end anytime there was heavy downpour.
According to him, this happens once the Rivers Niger and Benue overflow their banks, saying that many of the affected houses were located on river banks and flood plains.
He said that the victims of the disaster had been moved to the IDPs in Lokoja and other parts of the state.
The governor appealed to the Federal Government and corporate organisations to come quickly to the aid of the state.
“The state is in dire need of humanitarian interventions,” he said.
Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, the state Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, said that the ministry had been stretched to the limit by the development.
“The state government is providing immediate interventions within its financial capacity, but what government has been able to do is grossly inadequate.
“Apart from Nataco, Sarkin Numa, Ganaja and other areas in Lokoja where floods have taken over communities, Ibaji communities are completely passing through the fury floods that have sacked people from their homes and farmlands.
“Some people are climbing trees to survive.
“There is an urgent need to relocate the affected people and settle them in camps. We call on the National Emergency Management Agency to quickly come to our aid,” she said.
According to her, a situation room has been established to collate the realities on ground.
“The situation is getting worse by the day. As the centre of the nation, a locked-in Kogi will affect the entire nation.
“Roads have been taken over, people now sleep on the streets and nursing mothers are gory sights to behold. We call on federal agencies and the international community to quickly come to our aid,” the commissioner pleaded.
She also reiterated the appeal that people still living in flooded homes should vacate them immediately, saying that it was unsafe to continue to sleep in flooded houses.