Flooding: Anxiety In Kogi As Water Exceeds Normal Levels
Many people in Lokoja have abandoned their houses and shops owing to the continued increase in the water levels.
In Lokoja specifically, Adankolo New Layout, Ganaja Village, 500 Unit, Sarkin- noma and Felele Communities are almost going into extinction as the water continues to submerge more houses while residents who refused to respond to the call of NEMA have been trapped in the waters.
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They have no alternative than to use the "canoe" within their premises to carry out their activities.
The story is not different in Ibaji, Idah and Koton-Karfe Local Government Areas as there are no high lands in the area, hence the people have been advised to move to the IDP Camp at Idah
At least 623, 690 displaced persons were accommodated in 87 camps across the state during the last flood disaster.
And six years after, the continuous rise of water levels is forcing many residents that live close to the riverbanks to relocate as their houses are already submerged.
According to the Executive Secretary, Kogi State Emergency Management Agency, Alhassan Ayegba, by the last count, about 45, 000 persons have been displaced, and are camped in various IDP camps across the state, aside from those who are currently putting up with their relatives.
As a result, the absence of health facilities at the different camps, is already posing dire medical challenges to the IDPs who need medical attention. But matters recently got worse with the birth of three babies at the Koton Karfe IDP camp; babies who are not getting medical attention.
However, many are in fear that the damage this year may be worse compared to that of 2012, should Cameroonian authorities discharge water from the Lagdo dam.
At the moment, according to Ayegba, “the water level is 10.30 metres, and this has exceeded the normal level.''
A youth leader at the camp, Abubakar Isah, appealed to the government to assist them as they have lost all their crops to the flood, while the meagre assistance they have received from public-spirited individuals “translates to a few bags of rice and cartons of Indomie Noodles.”
Seidu Akowe, a victim of the 2012 flood disaster at the Lokoja IDP camp, was forced out of his home at midnight six years ago without picking any property. This time around, he said he moved to the IDP hostel in Lokoja when his house was overtaken by floods to avoid losing all his belongings.
Another victim, Hajia Meimuna Akawo, who recalled that in 2015, many organisations were showing support to displaced persons in camps, said this time around, apart from very few individuals, including the Commissioner for Environment, Sanusi Yahaya, who gave them two bags of rice and water tanks, the IDPs were starving.
She also said the sanitation situation has become deplorable, even as she fears the outbreak of an epidemic.