Flood kills 3, injures 22, destroys 1,838 houses in Gombe – SEMA

NO fewer than three persons died and 22 others injured in the 2023 flooding in Gombe state, the state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said.

The floods caused by heavy rainfalls also destroyed 1,838 houses and 257 farmlands while killing seven animals between May and October 2023.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday, November 16, in Gombe, the state capital, the SEMA’s Executive Secretary, Abdullahi Abdullahi, said eight out of the 11 local government areas (LGAs) of the state experienced flooding as against three LGAs predicted in the 2023 Flood Outlook.

The affected areas are Akko, Funakaye, Balanga, Gombe, Nafada, Kaltungo, Shongom and Yamaltu/Deba.

Abdullahi noted that the downpours, accompanied by strong windstorms, ravaged farmlands and caused losses to the farmers in the affected communities.

He said the state government distributed relief materials to victims, adding that the government was trying to expand the scope of the support services to all the affected communities.

“We have also submitted reports of flooding in the remaining communities, and efforts are on to also provide relief materials to them,” he said.

He stressed that the agency had written to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to facilitate support to the victims.

Earlier this year, the Federal Government disclosed that 32 states, 178 local government areas (LGAs), and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were at risk of heavy flooding in 2023. 

The ICIR reports that Gombe was one of the 35 states affected by flood in 2022, as it recorded several casualties.

In September 2022, excessive water released from the Lagda dam, alongside continuous heavy rainfall, displaced 1.4 million Nigerians from their homes, and about N700 billion in agricultural investments were lost, The ICIR reported.

In several flood series reports, The ICIR captured some states’ preparations and mitigation plans for the 2023 flooding prediction.

Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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