Encumbered by the financial implications and the enormity of ecological devastation ravaging Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello on Monday appealed for Federal Government intervention in addressing various ecological challenges in the state.
The governor specifically called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the flood victims of Rafin Gora community in Kontagora Local Government Area of the state where 10 lives were lost to mudslides and gully erosion last week Monday after a heavy downpour.
He made the call when he paid a condolence visit to the flood victims and inspected some of the affected flood areas in Rafin Gora village and Kontagora town in Kontagora Local Government area of the state.
The Governor who said the ecological devastation wrecked by the last week disaster in the two communities was beyond the capacity of the state, hence the appeal for Federal Government intervention in order to find quick and lasting solution to the affected areas.
He however said that temporary measures are been taken by the state government. This the governor said include plans to move the affected people living around the flood prone areas to a more conducive area.
“From what I have seen today, it appears we have to act sooner than later. Unfortunately there has been loss of lives here. The havoc here is a very serious one. But like we said this is definitely beyond our resources at the state level.
“We have reached out to the Federal Government to get their support. I learnt the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been here to assess the damage and I believe when we partner with the federal government we will find a lasting solution to this disaster”.
The Governor attributed the cause of the disaster lack of concrete drainage and the weakness of the embarkment of a nearby irrigation scheme to the community.
“I reliably gathered that the incidence here at Rafin Gora was caused by heavy downpour which led to mud sliding and this huge gully erosion. Lack of concrete drainage further worsen the situation.
“I also want to believe the weak embarkment of a nearby irrigation scheme may have caused a lot of water to overflow during the raining season, thereby causing incalculable damage to this community,” the governor stated.
The governor then directed that communities especially those along the river banks and flood prone areas to be conscious and be proactive by relocating to safe and upper land during this raining season.
Meanwhile no fewer than 13 lives were lost from Rafin Gora were teenage girls, while the remaining three victims were washed away in Angwar Nassarawa in Kontagora town.
Prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of the departed and for God to grant the families of victims fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.