Saturday, June 10, 2023

Floods ravage Benue villages as Governor Ortom lounges in Europe

Over the last decade, floods have destroyed properties worth millions of naira and caused losses of lives in some cases.

• August 28, 2022
Samuel Ortom/flood
Samuel Ortom/flood

Scores of Benue State residents have been rendered homeless following floods that destroyed properties in some villages.

Over the last decade, floods have destroyed properties worth millions of naira and caused losses of lives in some cases. The latest disaster comes as Governor Samuel Ortom lingers in Europe, where he has been on unofficial trips to London and Paris with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers.

A correspondent who went around the state capital reports that the disaster affected major parts of Achussah, Agber Village, Ayado Villa, and Judges Quarters, among others.

The areas were among the worst hit in the 2017 floods that displaced more than 120,000 persons in the Benue capital, Makurdi.

A resident of Agber Village, James Igbawua, said the situation was beyond their control, adding that they reported the matter to all relevant authorities over the years but no positive response.

Mr Igbawua said as a community, they could not do much as the situation required hundreds of millions to be addressed.

At Judge’s Quarters Extension, the situation was the same as water overflowing a drainage system constructed on Ashavir street, rendering the residents no access to roads.

In 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a 3.35-kilometre drainage channel to address ecological challenges facing the Idye Community in Makurdi, Benue.

The channel has significantly reduced the effect of the floods around the axis, but since the second and third phases of the project were yet to be constructed, there was no free flow of water, thereby causing more damage to areas like Agber, Achussah and Nyiman.

The state Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Godwin Oyiwona, had earlier said Idye Basin was the primary cause of flood in Makurdi metropolis.

Mr Oyiwona said the government had approved an undisclosed amount for the cleaning of the Idye Basin that controlled most of the water flow within the town to River Benue.

He further disclosed that other areas that were not connected to the Basin were being treated separately to ensure that there was no longer flood in 2022.

The commissioner said the government was doing everything possible to educate those residing in areas prone to flood to reduce its impact on them.


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