Flood ravages Lokoja, buildings collapse


Some parts of Lokoja, the Kogi State capital have been ravaged by floods which has led to the collapse of three buildings.

The state Commissioner for Environment, Sanusi Yahaya, who confirmed this in Lokoja on Thursday said that persistent heavy downpour of the past few days led to the floods.

He also said that the water level in River Niger had been increasing on a daily basis in the past two weeks, saying that the water had reached 9.48 metres by Thursday.

The Commissioner said that houses along the bank of the river in Lokoja had been ravaged by floods and occupants evacuated to safety, adding that no life was lost.

He said that three houses, including a two storey building had been submerged, while a bridge was also washed away in Igalamela Local Government Area.

“There is likelihood of flood occurrence in some parts of the state. The flood prediction is coming to pass,” he said while addresing a stakeholders meeting.

He directed those living along river banks and flood paths to relocate immediately to avoid being washed away.

He called on the stakeholders, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Red Cross, Navy, civil defence, and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to brace up and join hands with the state government to confront the disaster.

NEMA reacts

Bitrus Samuel, Head, Abuja Operation Office of NEMA, said that the meeting was called to appraise the level of preparedness and early response strategies put in place by stakeholders.

He said that the rising level of water in River Niger and prolonged heavy rainfall had made flooding inevitable , saying that all hands must be on deck to confront it.

Bitrus, who was represented by Mr Shola Babatunde, Assistant Head, NEMA, Abuja Operation Office, called for a well articulated programme to educate and sensitise members of the public.

He said that this was necessary to reduce the disaster impact, especially the magnitude of human and economic losses.

It is sensible to be proactive based on past experiences to take great steps in planning and preparing to respond to them in a coordinated and integrated manner,” Samuel said.

The Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Julius Mejiyan, in his address said that staff of the agency were on ground and ready to be deployed.

He said that SEMA was in need of inputs and support from relevant stakeholders to successfully manage the flood disaster.