Following flooding due to heavy rains in Benue State, Nigeria from August 28 to 31, 2017 the Benue Network of NGOs (BENGONET) and Emergency Response Team has called for Volunteers to assist in the ongoing Rapid Assessment of the Impacts of the flooding in Makurdi, the state capital, its immediate surroundings and other affected LGAs in the State.
The unusual downpour lasting 4 consecutive days coupled with a fractured drainage system contributed to the heavy floods. There are also an unconfirmed reports that water was released from Lagdo Dam in Cameroun, Benue State. The second largest river in Nigeria, the River Benue, runs through the State.
All the 21 Local Government areas of the State have been affected leaving over a 100,000 thousand people homeless.
Kate Ijogi, a victim of recent floods has moved back to her house, but fears that she may not be able to live in her house for long due to the prediction by the National Environment Management Authority, NEMA that the September rains will be more than that of August.
MmeIjogi, a resident ofNyinma Quarters, Makurdi, the State capital, has lived in the area for one year but claims her neighbors who have lived in the area for over 10 years say this is the first time such is happening.
She said on Thursday, August 28, water slightly seeped into her house and she called a bricklayer to cement some part of her fence where they suspected the rain was coming in from.But, at about 2am heavy rains started and within a short while the waters had risen to her windows, She quickly took her documents which were above a wardrobe and ran to a neighbors house with her children.
It was the same there and they had to flee, with other people from the neighborhood. Adding that even cars were submerged in water.
“The situation was terrible and frightening as some of my neighbors were using canoes to get into their houses, and furniture and cars were swimming in the flood. I thank God that no lives were lost and pray that we will not see such again,” she said.
Homeless flood victims are currently being hosted in Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and in the Makurdi International Market.
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom called on those living in flood prone areas and waterways to relocate to safer places.
In a visit to Makurdi flood victims, Governor Ortomdistributed relief materials to IDPs and urged those in charge of the flood relief programmeto ensure equitable distribution of the items given by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The Governor appreciated the prompt intervention of President MuhammaduBuhari and the Nigerian Air Force for the provision of a medical outstation to attend to the health needs of the IDPs.
He also thanked the media for the role they played during the disaster.