The Nigerian Government has announced plans to relocate up to 10,000 people within the River Benue basin of Mosun Community in Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi, due to the expected flooding during this year’s rainy season.
This was disclosed by Alhaji Abubakar Yelwa, the Managing Director (MD) of the Hydro-Electricity Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC).
He explained that the flooding experienced in 2022 and the subsequent adverse impact necessitated the Federal Government’s decision to relocate the community,
The relocation: Alhaji Abubakar Yelwa said FG will begin construction of buildings that would accommodate the affected villagers in two weeks. He said:
- “If we are shown the piece of land by the traditional ruler and the Bassa Local Government authorities.
- “What we are afraid of is the flood for 2023, going by the prediction of NiMet, which says this year’s rain would be heavier than that of 2022, which may mean more floods than what we experienced.
- “Here we are at the site, and you can see for yourselves the levels of damaging activities of the River Benue in these communities within Mosun kingdom. We have to do something to save their lives and make their lives worthwhile.
- “As soon as the authorities show us the piece of land to relocate them, we shall begin construction work immediately. We are ready to move our equipment to the river banks to start work on controlling the ravaging erosive activities.”
Impacts of 2022 flooding: The traditional ruler of the Mosun Kingdom, Alhaji Burka Ali, told the HYPPADEC that no fewer than 10,000 people were displaced by the 2022 flood, adding:
- “In fact, land space of over 300m was washed away by the flood. As for the piece of land for the resettlement of my unfortunate people, we have already selected a piece of land to show HYPPADEC.
- “I am short of words. We appreciate the commission and the Federal Government for this show of love and concern to the people of my kingdom.
- “We are ready to cooperate with HYPPADEC to see that the resettlement programme is a success for the good of our fellow brothers and sisters as well as our children, who have suffered due to the flood, ” Ali said.
What you should know: The Nigerian Government, through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has warned Nigerians to expect severe flooding in 2023.
Recall that in 2022, Nigeria also experienced severe flooding, which displaced thousands and destroyed farmlands.
NEMA boss, Mr Mustapha Ahmed said Nigeria will witness severe flooding this year citing predictions from relevant agencies.
He added there had been seasonal climate predictions and annual flood outlooks by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), adding that the flood disaster in 2022 was a learning experience, and NEMA would also spread early warning messages to states and Local Government Areas (LGAs) and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
- “We have started early this year, as we are ready for early warning and early action. We will bombard every citizen, state and local government with this information as we want them to know that it is serious. We will not keep quiet. We want them to know that there will be flooding this year,’’ he said.
NEMA warned those living around water channels and flood plains should take precautions.
The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) also requested the sum of N100 billion as its intervention fund to repair roads damaged by the 2022 nationwide flooding.