Flood: Move to safer places, Benue govt warns residents
A close to 12 hours downpour in Makurdi the Benue state capital, has cut off the Joseph Sarwan University Makurdi, JoSTUM from the rest of the town.
The rain which started at about 11pm Sunday night also left most parts of the state capital flooded sweeping away properties and valuables of many of the affected residents.
The worst hit areas of the town includes, Achusa, Gyado, Villa, Wurukum Market, Genabe Layout, Wadata Rice Mill, Agbohough, Agwan Jukun and Demekpe communities as well as the busy Otukpo and Ishaya Bakut Roads.
Meanwhile the SBS Junction road leading to the JoSTUM, formally the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, FUAM, was also not spared. The road was washed away at Ichwa and Antsa communities while some of the culverts on the about six kilometers road were either washed away or submerged.
The development left students, lecturers and workers of the institution stranded as they could not easily access the institution while those residing in the institution and nearby communities were left trapped.
A student union leader in the institution, Mimidoo Gundu who decried the situation called on the federal and state governments to urgently intervene to mitigate the impact of the flood in order to avert the disruption of teaching and learning in the university and also save residents of the affected communities from the pains and trauma occasioned by the flood.
She said “the flood has washed away and also blocked the road that links the SRS Jnnction to JoSTUM around Antsa and Ichwa communities and it has been a huge obstacle for staff and students to get to the school; it is very disheartening. I urge the Federal and State Government and the school management to look into this problem before it gets worse.
“A federal institution is located there and students need to study in school during week days and not at home. A quick action should be taken as soon as possible to ensure that the university and the affected communities are accessible.”
A resident of Achusa community where several houses were flooded, Sam Ichoko whose house was also submerged lamented that he lost vital documents and household items to the flood.
He said “we didn’t see this coming at all, for sometime now we have been having intermittent rainfall in Makurdi but no one expected this particular rainfall to last about 12 hours and it is still threatening to rain as we speak. Already I have lost some of my important documents and my chairs including electronics because I suddenly woke up to see that my entire house has been flooded. The government should come to our aid.”
Meanwhile the Benue State Government has appealed to all those living in flood-prone communities to vacate to safer areas.
The State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, in a statement by the acting Executive Secretary, James Iorpuu also disclosed that the state government had designated public schools in 22 Local Government Areas, LGAs, of the state as displaced persons camps to provide accommodation for flood victims in the state in the event of flooding of communities in the state.