Hell has no fury like a woman scorn, a popular adage, has been countered by the raging storm and massive flooding that has characterized this year’s raining season. Indeed hell’s fury is far more than a woman’s scorn as the fury of a storm is raging. As it is,, it may be difficult to convince victims of recurring rainstorm and flood disasters in Nigeria that water has no enemy. To some of them, the gathering of clouds portends danger and sends shivers down their spines. Since January, this year, no fewer than 141 lives have been lost to rainstorm, wind storm and flood disasters across the country with at least 19,369 persons displaced from their homes and sources of livelihood among others destroyed.
Saturday Vanguard’s checks showed that the rainstorm and flood disaster in 2018 is the worst in the last six years after the 2012 floods that killed 363 people, displaced 2.1 million people and affected seven million people in 30 of the 36 states of the country, according to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The economic losses in 2012 were put at N2.5 trillion. The seriousness of the 2012 flooding, referred to as the most harmful in the last 40 years, was attributed to a combination of two events: very heavy local rainfall and the release of excess water from the Lagdo Dam in neighboring Republic of Cameroon.
Affected states So far by storm and floods have numbered up to 27 states this year.
The states are Rivers, Cross River, Enugu, Kwara, Lagos, Imo, Kogi, Ondo, Jigawa, Taraba, Katsina, Gombe, Imo, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Ogun, Anambra, Niger, Katsina, Adamawa, Delta, Yobe, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Enugu and Osun.
Also Meteorologists had predicted flooding in some communities in the country, including those in Ahoada, which was also heavily hit by the 2012 flooding.
Okarki community in Ahaoda-west Local Government Area in Rivers State is the worst hit. Information gathered from an indigene Mr. Osisioma Payment (flash paparazzi concepts) revealed that the village has been submerged in water. People longer go to market, church nor farm. Most of them have fled their homes which has been taken over by water. Thousands of properties have been destroyed and hunger consequently has prevailed in the land. According to his own words ‘one pity I felt for my once home Sweet Home, now a place flooded, devastated and submerged, now the sight of suffering, with no food, no drugs, no shelter, no joy’.
‘Our leaders has forgotten us, but are now focusing on the fort coming elections for personal gain’.
He pleaded with the Rivers State Governor, Barr Nyesom
Ezenwo Nwike to come to their aid now they need him the most and not when he will come for campaign. It has not been ascertained the number of lives lost. Thousands of properties that have been destroyed.
In another development, a community leader in one of the communities, Akinima, complained that the flood took them unawares, adding that all their farms had been submerged. He said that the flood caused by overflow of Orashi river, affected five communities, including Oruama, Akinima, Mbiama and Joinkrama 1and 2. It has been gathered that at the time of this report, flood had already taken over several homes, leaving the residents in absolute confusion and fear. Another indigene, said the communities were now in big problem, noting that the people thought they would never experience the type of flooding that affected the area in 2012. He said: “The communities that are experiencing the flood is in a big problem because of the overflow of Orashi River. Now our homes and farms have been submerged in the water. We don’t have where to go and what to eat.”
Meanwhile, the immediate past chairman of Ahoada West Local Government Area, Mr. Ikechukwu Obuzor, has called for a swift intervention by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and other responsible agencies. Obuzor said the people of the area were now faced with several challenges, calling on the state government to provide alternative source of livelihood for the people seriously affected.
PREDICTIONS EARLIER MADE.
The Director-General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi, while giving the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, said that distortions had occurred in the pattern of rainfall leading to variation in the amount of rain expected in the country. He explained that in line with NiMet’s 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, SRP, so much water would be made available on the surface between the last week of July and end of August. According to him, once it rains, the ground cannot comfortably contain and absorb the water making it to run-off and resulting in so much water on the surface. “Unless adequate provision is made to accommodate the amount of water that is running on the surface, definitely the likelihood of flood is going to be very high, especially in the areas that are adjoining the riverine locations,’’ he warned. Were these warnings heeded? Saturday Vanguard’s checks indicate that the warnings were only partially heeded. Drainage channels were blocked and the cases of people building houses on flood plains persist. It was therefore, not surprising that the floods wreaked heavy damages in many parts of the country.
Given that Nigeria is still in the rainy season with flooding being a recurring feature since 2012, all hands must be on deck to mitigate the effects of the raging rains of fury and recurring flood disasters.