Benue Flood : Ortom calls for dredging of River Benue as permanent solution

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From Scholastica Joseph, Makurdi

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has  called on the federal government to dredge the River Benue to put a permanent end to the perwnial flooding of th state.

Ortom stated this when he visited some communities including Kucha Utebe on Gboko road, Rice Mill in Wadata among other areas submerged by the flood.

“River Benue is now shallow and when there is excess rainfall or a release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon, you will see it overflowing its bank” Ortom explained.

He noted that the state has witnessed more rainfall this year which stretched beyond what it use to be in the past and pleaded with the federal government to dredge the river which is the only permanent solution to flooding in the state.

“Truely, if the river is deep enough, you won’t see this flooding but as it is, unfortunately, hundreds of people have already been displaced from their homes and I pray that this water will decreased instead of increasing.” The Governor stated.

Ortom lexpressed worry that the state is already faced with humanitarian problems.

“we are still struggling to contend with the herdsmen attacks though some of the IDPs have returned but if this continues, we will have no options than to open another camp for people to live in.” He Stressed.

He lamented that many families have been displaced and property have been destroyed hence the need to put a permanent stop to flood in Benue.

On his part, ( Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA), Mr Emmanuel Shior  revealed that many ocal  governement areas  are affected among to include ; Makurdi, Logo, Ukum, Guma, Katsina Ala, Buruku, Agatu among others have been affect and many communities flooded.

Shior said “homes, houses, and farms and properties worth billions of naira have been destroyed and we are still counting and taking inventory from our desk officers.

He added that Governor Ortom has asked him to speak with the federal government through NEMA, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons. We are discussing with Christian Aid International as well as other partners who are preparing intervention for the victims.

According to him, the Makurdi International market is also being prepared to house the IDPs.

Residents who spoke to Nigerian NewsDirect  Mrs Kumam Chia, Livinus Kwaghngu and the District Head of Wadata, Chief Samuel Asema lamented the yearly flooding of their communities and called on the federal government to assist Benue in dredging the River Benue to put a permanent end to the perenial flood in the state.