The Makurdi Floods

The Economist reports that since 1970, the number of disasters worldwide has more than quadrupled to around 400 a year, it’s only the ninth month in 2017 and we can all attest to the series of here-and-theres.

It’s now over a week since residents of
Achusa, Idye, Wurukum Market, Genabe, Industrial Layout, Demekpe, Wadata Market, Katungu, Civil Service Commission, AgboughulWadata among others in Benue state, Nigeria have been distressed and displaced by the torrential downpours.

The Nigerian President announced via his Twitter account the number of casualties that have been affected:
[Figures currently at over 110,000 persons/2769 Households].
However Twitter Nigeria Chapter rose to their bearest Fahrenheit to criticize  President Buhari who recently returned from a medical vacation for the poor response of government authorities to the disaster.
The Benue state Governor has moved on to announce the opening of two camps for Internally Displaced Persons – the empty International Market and the Presidential Building at Agan Toll Gate.
Also, the National Emergency Management Agency through its twitter account @NemaNigeria have been updating users about Government’s moves and plans to fix the terrible situation. As at Friday, NEMA said a first batch of emergency relief response, seven 30 tons trucks have been despatched to Makurdi.

Meanwhile, popular twitter personality, Jola Ayeye took to her page to rally donations for the affected victims and was able to gather almost 1 Million Naira in few hours.
Other companies like Sterling Bank and Anakle Labs joined the
philanthropic trend by promising N50 for every retweet that came with #IStandWith Benue tweets.

In no time, Africans have brought this catastrophe to the rest of the world by sharing pictures with the Hastag: #PrayForMakurdi


This morning in an interview on NTA, Dr Emmanuel Adana, Executive Director of Water Resources Institute in Zaria emphasized that the outlook of the Nigerian drainage channels and rainfall levels do not correlate. He insisted on the building and maintenance of structures that can handle the effects of climate change as the way out. Adana said the government is already marking areas across the country to identify places prone to flood and other disasters, stating that the floods are as a result of desert encroachment, high rise in sea water level and the reduced capacity of dams to handle water.

Dr Mustapha Maihaja, Director General of NEMA added that no death cases have been recorded but Samuel Orbunde, a journalist called in to discredit the information, claiming that two lives have been lost and more cases of injuries have surfaced.
He also said that the government has been distributing foodstuffs to victims without any cooking means.

Since then, there have been flood incidents reported in some parts of Abuja, Port-harcourt and Delta state.


Richard Ogundiya

Journalist & Techpreneur. Africa, communications and data.

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