No fewer than 44 persons were feared dead with scores missing as flood on Sunday night wreaked havoc in 10 communities in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state.
Some of the communities badly affected by the flood were Kwata, Dantudu, Sabuwar, Tukare, Tsohuwar Tukare and Ungwar Mai Kwari.
The downpour, which started at about 11p.m. on Sunday night and stopped around 1a.m. yesterday, resulting in the death of about 260 livestock and destruction of farmlands in the area.
The natural disaster, which caused river channels in the affected villages to overflow their banks, also sacked many residents from their homes and shops as their apartments were flooded, thereby rendering thousands homeless.
Addressing newsmen on Monday evening, the state governor, Aminu Masari confirmed that 44 lives were lost while 20 people were missing in the overnight rainstorm, stressing that he had never seen such a disaster in his life.
He said, “You need to go there, it was a real disaster. As of the time we left Jibia, no less than 44 people were confirmed dead while over 500 houses were completely damaged.
“I have informed the President about the incident and he has called to sympathise with the people.
“As a government, we shall find permanent solutions to the problem.
“We know Jibia is a flood-prone area and we build drainage. But what happened was that instead of water to flow to the river through the drainage, water from the river was flowing back into the drainage, thereby causing the flooding during the rainstorm.
“We are going to redirect the water flow and I have passed out necessary instructions.
“We have also taken measures to ameliorate the sufferings of the victims.
“The National Emergency Management Agency has also been duly informed and they are sending relief materials to the victims.”
Reacting to the unfortunate development in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said he had been saddened to observe the devastation and loss of lives caused by the floods in Katsina State and other parts of the federation.
He pledged the Federal Government’s support for the victims of the disaster, directing the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to do everything that would bring succour to the victims wherever they were.
“As rescue and prevention efforts continue, let me express the sincere condolences of my family, the government and people of Nigeria to all the victims of the destruction by the floods.
“Let me assure you that we stand ready to provide, within available resources, every assistance that is needed to bring comfort to those in distress,” the President said.