By G9ija

Thirty-one persons have reportedly died in floods across the country as torrential rains continue to pour.

In Bauchi State, the rains led to the death of 25 persons in 15 local government areas of Bauchi State this year.

About 20 other persons have been injured in flood-related incidents.

Deputy Governor Baba Tela, who represented Governor Bala Mohammed, announced the figure on Wednesday while hosting officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at the State Government House in Bauchi.

Tela said about N950 million was needed to replace the lost properties of the residents, including 2,200 hectares of land and over 3,500 houses.

He said: “I will like to mention that through NEMA, we have received various types of food items, totalling 220 trailers as relief materials.

“The issue of flooding has been a reoccurring decimal not only in the state but across the country. In Bauchi State, about 15 local government areas have been affected by flooding, which is because of the unusual rainfall earlier predicted by NEMA.

“We have over 3,500 houses destroyed, 2,200 hectares of farmlands also destroyed, and you know we depend on farming in this part of the world.

“To the flooding, we have sadly lost about 25 lives and about 20 persons were also injured. We commiserate with the families of the victims.

“On the money lost as well as the farmlands and houses that have been destroyed this year, it’s almost N950 million, which does not include the infrastructure that the government has to replace as some roads have been washed away.”

In Miga Local Government Area of Jigawa State, the rampaging floods have killed five persons in four collapsed buildings.

The local government chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Agufa, confirmed the casualties on Wednesday in Miga, the local government’s headquarters.

He said the buildings collapsed in different parts of the state and at different times.

“Early this morning (yesterday), we received a report that a building had collapsed and trapped a little girl while sleeping with her grandmother. The little girl died and the grandmother sustained a fracture in her leg,” Agufa said.

The local government chairman explained that “the flood entered the local government headquarters and many other towns and villages in seven wards”.

He added: “Apart from here in Miga town, buildings also collapsed and killed as well as trapped some people in Insharuwa and Sansani, while two others died in Tsakuwawa villages, making five deaths so far in the local government.”

The council chairman said the residents also lost hundreds of farmlands, crops and homes to the flood.

He said the residents had not been sleeping as they had been trying to salvage the remaining parts of the town, which were still under the threat of further flooding.

Agufa said abled-bodied men in the town were put on alert to prevent the rampaging waters from further overflowing River Hadejia’s embankments, which the State Emergency Management Authority (SEMA) made with the assistance of other well-meaning residents.

The local government chairman noted that the flood arose from the blockages in the river, following unabated torrential.

It was learnt that other structures, such as the local government secretariat, the police divisional office, the 20 rooms in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) lodge as well as the local government’s hospital were submerged.

SEMA’s Executive Secretary Yusuf Sani Babura said the state was collating a comprehensive data on the affected residents.

He said the state government had given the local government 70 bags of garri, 50 bags of groundnut cakes, 30 bags of sugar and two canoes.

An unidentified nine-year-old boy has drowned in a gutter at Ama Ogbonna Market in Aba North Local Government Area of Abia State.

It was gathered that the incident occurred during a torrential that led to the flooding of most of parts of the commercial town.

A resident, who claimed to have witnessed the incident but spoke in confidence, said: “I was in the house when I started hearing shouts of people outside. I rushed out and beheld a crowd searching for a boy that was said to have drowned in the gutter while it was raining heavily.

“We brought a ladder and searched the gutter, but we couldn’t see him. We even went further to check if his body could have been washed off to the other end of the gutter, but we couldn’t find it. We equally searched throughout the night, but we didn’t succeed.”

Another source told our reporter that the boy’s mother was a petty trader around Ogbonnaya Road, adding that the body of the deceased had been taken home for burial.

“It was in the process of getting out the slippers of a customer, which fell into the gutter, that the body of the boy was discovered.

“The father later came with a Ghana-Must-Go bag with which they took the dead away to their village for burial,” the source added.

Flood has also swept across 36 communities in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State.

Houses, other landed properties, farms, livestock and valuables estimated at billions of naira were reportedly washed away by the rampaging waters.

Rains have been falling across the state in the past one week with the torrential pouring unabated in the past two days.

Although no lives have been confirmed lost, many people have lost their homes and farms.

Most of the affected people are currently living in temporary camps while others are living with relatives in areas that were not affected by floods.

A youths’ association in Lapai Local Government Area, National Kakanda Development Association (NKADA), alerted to the effect of the flood in the affected 36 communities in the local government area.

In a joint statement, the association’s President, Ismaila Ayuba, and General Secretary, Umar Apataku, said the residents were in dire need of food, shelter and medical care.

They said the houses and farms affected were in Ebwa, Apataku, Arah, Kuchi and many other places.

Also, the Enugu State government has set up an emergency response plan to mitigate the possible effect of flooding in the state.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi announced this in Enugu yesterday when he hosted a national delegation of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) during its flood advocacy visit to the state.

The NEMA delegation also made similar visits to the 103 Battalion at Akwunanaw in Enugu, which had been designated the state’s Disaster Response Unit (DRU).

Ugwuanyi, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mrs. Nkechi Eneh, said the state had received tremendous human and material support from NEMA for capacity building, training and relief materials.