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Lokoja residents flee as River Niger overflows bank

14 September 2012, 07:15

Lokoja - Some houses along the bank of River Niger in Lokoja have been flooded following excess discharge of water from the river between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who, on Thursday, visited some of the affected houses at Kpata, Adankolo and Gadumo areas of Lokoja, reports that no life was lost to the flooding.

NAN, however, learnt that some personal property worth several millions of naira were submerged by the flood.

Some affected residents said they woke up on Thursday to discover that their houses had been flooded, a development which they attributed to excess discharge of water from the River Niger.

They explained to NAN correspondent that the water level increased tremendously, and expressed fears that the river might eventually overrun the entire houses on its bank in due course.

Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim, a landlord in one of the affected houses in Adankolo area, told NAN that he moved into his eight-room building in 2011.

He said ever since he has been living peacefully with his three wives and 11 children until the recent flooding problem.

Ibrahim, who was moving out his family and property out of the house when NAN visited, said that all the eight rooms were flooded.

He said that he would not take the risk of sleeping in the house on Thursday night.

Cpl. Mr Musa Hayatu, who was a tenant in the area, said that he had relocated his wife and one kid to another house in the town as a result of the flood.

Hayatu, who NAN correspondent met moving out his personal belongings from the house, said that he had no intention of returning to the house.

Another landlord, Mr Hussein Bawa, who owns a two-bedroom apartment located on Hausa Street, Adankolo, said that a relation had offered him a one room as a temporary abode.

He said he would consider returning to the house when the water level dropped.

Mr Sule Alli, who claimed to have been living in his house located on the river bank since 1996, said that the last time the area experienced flooding was in 2008.

Alli, who stated that he was born and bred in the area, however, said that the high water level was not enough to send him packing out of his house, saying that he had no where to run to.

Some tenants, who also spoke to NAN correspondent, said that they had started moving out of the houses and expressed the fear that the flooding may further spread inward.

The residents, who claimed to have heard the warnings from radio and television programmes, explained that no official from the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) or the Lokoja Local Government had visited them to give them any information.

Attempts to speak with the Executive Secretary of SEMA, Mrs Alice Ogedengbe, did not succeed as she was said to be busy.

NAN reports that those who spoke to NAN confirmed that they were aware of the several warnings from a Federal Government agency, NIMET, urging some states to prepare for flooding in their areas of authority.


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