By Muhammad Lawal
Birnin Kebbi – Kebbi State Government says it has lost about N1 billion worth of rice and other farm produce to ravaging flood recorded in different parts of the state.
The government also urged the Federal Government to construct dam to address perennial flooding in the state.
Attahiru Maccido, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture made the disclosure on Sunday during an inspection visit to flood affected areas in Bagudo and Argungu Local Government Areas of the state.
Macciddo said that flood submerged thousands hectares of farmlands and houses destroying farm produce and personnel belongings in the affected communities.
He said: “In Bagudo LGA, we visited about 19 villages affected by the flood, and in Argungu many communities were affected.
“We call on the Federal Government to construct a reservoir. I think among the states that are into farming, Kebbi is the only state that does not have a dam of its own.
“We need large reservoirs to reserve the rain water, so that it can be used for other activities.
“Preliminary assessment showed that damage to rice plantations and other produce due to the flood could be over billions of Naira.”
“Compensation is a solution in a way, but we are looking for more durable solutions to the devastating flood.
“The visit is to assess the damage and how we can get immediate remedy for those who lost their livelihoods.”
Macciddo said that construction of a dam would control flooding and encourage effective utilisation of water and agricultural resources in the state.
He noted that the dam project would also mobilise participation in agriculture as well as encourage rain fed and dry season activities.
According to him, the Kebbi StateEmergency Management Agency (SEMA) will distribute food and other relief items to the affected farmers and households to mitigate their sufferings.
Maccido called on wealthy individuals, agricultural firms operating in the state and key players in rice value chain to assist the affected farmers.
“This is a time they should come forward and donate to cushion the effect of the affected farmers.
“We are not out of COVID-19 pandemic and the flood disaster compounded the problem,” he said.
In a remark, Muhammadu Kaura, Chairman, Bagudo Local Government Council, said the flood washed away sorghum, millet, maize and rice plantations in the area.
Kaura lamented that settlements in prone areas refused to relocate to safer areas in spite of warnings by the authorities, adding that the council would emphasise on sensitisation activities to create awareness on the dangers of the flood.
While urging the Federal and State Governments to assist the victims, Kaura called on the people in flood prone zones to relocate to areas with high altitude.
Also speaking, Abubakar Muhammad, the Ward Head of Tuga, one of the affected communities, said that flood submerged many communities and farmlands in his domain.
Muhammad lamented that the damage caused by the flood would negatively affect rice production in the state.
Some of the affected farmers, Abubakar Maikifi and Hakimi Maitambari, expressed shock over the disaster.
Maikifi said the disaster had exposed them to losses as it destroyed their only source of livelihoods.
“We lost our farm produce and animals to the flood.
“A number farmers here cultivated bewteen 50 and 100 hectres of rice plantations producing hundreds bags of paddy every rainy season.
“We never experienced this kind of disaster in the past. We call for assistance from government and development organisations,” he said.
The affected areas include Tungar-Baushe; Illela, Buda, Rimi, Kurgu, Tungar-Sha, Shanbam, Bargawa, Garin-Wanzam, Tungar-Wanzam, Sabon-Gari and Tungar-Nabayi.
Others are Tungar-Burtu; Tungar-Akoda, Tilleji, Kala-Kala, Tungar-Arabi, Tungar Ayuba as well as Gefen Farfajiya and Gandun Sarki in Bagudo and Argungu Local Government Areas, respectively. (NAN)