Environment & Climate ChangeNews

40 killed in Jigawa As River Hadejia Overflows Its banks

Flooding caused by the overflow of River Hadejia in Jigawa State, Northwest Nigeria,  has killed 40 people and Displaced many, Yusuf Sani, the Chairman of Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency, said  on Tuesday. 

“The flood is getting worse by the day. It has now reached the Hadejia area and has forced many people out of their homes. Many of them are now living in schools and other alternative shelters they can find,”  Sani said.

He explained that the number of deaths rose from 33, following the death of seven  more people, including children.

On his part, Jigawa State Governor, Mr Badaru Abubakar, said the government was providing medical help for the flood victims.

“We have instructed the Ministry of Education to move all the displaced people to school buildings. We have also directed the Ministry of Health to station health personnel in the camps to provide medical help.

“We would also distribute food items and would try and facilitate the cooking of food in the camps to ensure they are well fed,” the governor said.

On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed sympathy for the victims of the unprecedented and devastating flooding in the Hadejia area.

The president in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday said, “this destruction to farmlands is particularly worrisome because it comes at a time my government is vigorously pursuing efforts to boost local rice production and end importation of the commodity.”

The Hadejia Emirate Development Association consisting of eight local government areas, on Monday, appealed to the state government to, as a matter of urgency, complete the embarkment of Hadejia River Valley which has been abandoned for about four decades.

The head of the community-based organisation, Sani Kafinta, in a press briefing, said the embarkment of Hadejia River Valley, initiated in Nigeria’s  Second Republic, aims to control the flow of river and flood disaster in metropolitan Hadejia and its environment.

The country has witnessed serious flooding in the past weeks as predicted by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency with Jigawa State reporting huge floods in the past two weeks and in most cases, farmlands and houses have been washed away.

 Jigsawa State like others in the Northwest region is rice producing.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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