From Rose Ejembi and Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
Hours of torrential rainfall has submerged several communities in Makurdi, the Benue state capital and its environs.
The rain which started at the early hours 10am, on Friday and fell heavily till evening hours, flooded most areas in Makurdi, sacking traders, displacing residents from their homes and destroying properties worth millions of naira.
Most hit by the flood were Wadata area, Rice Mill, Wurukum market, Kucha Utebe, Achusa village and part of Judges Quarters along Gboko road, among other places.
As at Friday, evening, some residents by Kucha Utebe were seen parking their luggages out of the area.
A resident who didn’t want to be named said his brother, who just returned from Cotonou and lived by Kucha Utebe, has parked his property to her house with his family after water entered his house and destroyed everything including food items.
“When he was looking for house, I warned him not to live there because of the flood that happens every year, but he said it was close to his church and work area. See where we are now.
“Thank God it was a working day. He and the wife had gone to work and the children were in school. As I speak, their whole compound is completely submerged with the water reaching window level. When he called me, he said they were waiting for a friend to bring a canoe to enable them access their house.”
Another residents, Mrs Joy Anyagwa who resides at Nater village in Achusa area of Makurdi, also lamented the flooding of the area and called on the authorities to provide drainage system in the area.
She told our correspondent on phone that “Since last week, there’s no road here. If you come around the NKST Achusa, you will think we are in River Benue. We have been indoors since yesterday.”
Meanwhile, worst hit by the flood is the Wurukum market where traders were seen struggling to salvage their goods.
A man who sells ladies clothes told our correspondent that he had just returned from Onitsha where he went to buy goods for his shop.
He said that market is flooded every year and wondered when something tangible will be done to put their suffering to a permanent end.
Motorists who used Akpehe road by the market were also traumatized by the flood. A tricyclist, “Keke” operator said his Keke engine went off in the middle of the road while conveying passengers. “We had to step down into the water. I couldn’t collect money from them because we just started the journey.”
In Judges Quarters area, flood has cut off a major culvert leading residents into judges quarters extension through Yimam Ashaver street, a development which has bared vehicular movement in and out of the place.
The residents who spoke to our correspondent called on both the federal and state government to find lasting solution to the flood.
The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA), Mr Emmanuel Shior, could not be reached on Saturday morning but earlier in the week, Shior told journalists that over 200 households have been displaced by flood in Makurdi and its environs.
Flooding in Makurdi has been a perennial occurrence and the state government and residents alike, expect that the River Benue should be dredged to bring the problem under control.