Mararaba residents seek assistance due to flooding, heavy rainfall

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The residents of Mararaba and environs in Nasarawa State earlier this week to flooding of their homes damaging property as a result of the heavy rainfall over night.

Residents of the affected areas such as Aso Drive, Tundun Wada, Mararaba market, Tipper Garage, Aunty Alice and Orange market axis, lamented their losses after the downpour which lasted several hours.

Earlier this week the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) residents experienced the first heavy rainfall of the year, which also caused flooding in some areas of the FCT, especially in the suburbs.

The residents particularly decried recurring flood on Abuja-Keffi highway after the downpour on Tuesday night bringing movement of vehicles and commuters to near standstill.

A shop owners at Mararaba market, Mr Gideon Obiajulu attributed the flood to the blockage of drainages majorly with plastic wastes.

He said that most cleaners in the market usually threw the wastes into the gutter or drainage systems.

Obiajulu also condemned the indiscriminate way the Nasarawa Urban Development Board were going about their environmental services.

“Whenever it rains or became windy, the refuse automatically falls into the drainages leading to blockage.

“It is also unfortunate that most people litter the drainages with empty plastic bottles, nylon and various kinds of filth.

“Most houses in these areas are without toilets and people engaged in open defecation on the drainages, while it also served as there waste bins,’’ he said.

Obaijulu therefore advised that the board should find a means of evacuating the waste immediately because “it is already an eye sore’’.

Mrs Dupe Omotosho, a resident of Aso Drive, said that due to poor sanitation, environmentally unfriendly attitude of residents and a number of other factors relating to sanitation and hygiene, rats have invaded the areas.

She said that most houses lacked adequate toilets and bathrooms, making them to defecate indiscriminately and dispose their dirt in the gutter or in the bush.

“There is flood everywhere around Aso Drive and this is caused by the blockage of the major canal in the neighbourhood and its overflow.

“Once it rains it becomes an opportunity for most people to empty their dust bins into the drainage,’’ she said.

Many of the traders at the Mararaba markets counting their losses, as many food items, household utensils, clothes and other wares were destroyed by the flood.

Other residents of Mararaba also decried recurring flood on Abuja-Keffi highway after downpour bringing movement of vehicles and commuters to near standstill.

The flooding on the Abuja-Keffi Highway this week is the second incident that residents have encountered since the rains set in this year.

Challenge

Mr Garuba Isah, a motorist said the flooding had been a big problem in the area for years and nothing had been done to address the menace.

Isah said that flooding would still be recurring on the road if the relevant authorities failed to take drastic measures including the construction of drainages to channel the excessive water properly.

“Proactive measures will go a long way toward mitigating the effects of the flooding which has always caused inconveniences to motorists and the people operating various businesses on the highway.

“Besides making vehicles impassable, it causes severe damage to people’s building and their businesses here,” he said.

Another resident, Mrs Comfort Eta, said flooding had always posed health hazards to the children in particular whenever it rained.

“Any time it rains here, even if you are at your business place, you will wish to rush home to rescue your property and watch over your house because of fear of flood.

“I am appealing to the Federal Government to come to our aid as the challenge is beyond our power,’’ Eta appealed.

Plastic menace

Ebenezar Okuola, an environmentalist called for proper way of disposal of plastic containers and sachet water.

He said that looking at the debris that blocked the drainage syste, the most notable items were plastic containers and sachet water.

Okunola said that the harm caused by plastic pollution was enormous capable of causing negative impacts on the nation’s environment in the nearest future.

“It is time for government to take a decision on the use of water sachets and plastic containers and join the world crusade against plastic pollution because it is very hazardous to the environment,’’ Okunola said.

Refuse pollution

A teacher, Mr Victor Okopido, blamed refuse dumps for the recurring of the flood on the road, saying residents were in the habit of emptying their refuse into the water channels whenever it rained.

Okopido said that such attitude had also contributed to the recurring of flood, stressing that the residents needed sensitisation on how to effectively dispose these non degradable wastes that block the drains.

“I have carefully observed that any time it rains, you will  see people bringing rubbishes from their homes to dump inside the gutters which is very wrong,’’ he said.