Following the torrential downpour in the last week of September, about 2, 000 hectares of farmland have been destroyed by flood in the three districts in Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Special Adviser to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Emergency and Relief Services, Alhaji Duro Mohammed, disclosed this while inspecting the havoc caused by the flood in Patigi last week Thursday.
Damages include rice farms in Lade, Patigi and Sepondi districts which were being cultivated near the River Niger. Other affected places include a primary school, a clinic and a cemetery at Gbaradogi.
Residents have called upon the Federal Government to come to their aid in tackling the aftermath of the flood as the magnitude is too much for the state to bear alone. Farmers, who make up the major occupants of the area are the most affected. This could be a major setback in the rice self-sufficiency initiative embarked on by the government.
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The Etsu Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar, expressed concerns over the perennial flooding in the area. The monarch also suggested that the dredging of River Niger and construction of better drainage systems would permanently protect the community from future disasters.
Kwara is one of the nearly 30 states in Nigeria which are vulnerable to flooding annually.
It would be recalled that sometime in 2013, the government disclosed that plans were already in place to checkmate the flood situation in Kwara. One can only ask if the recently disbursed flood prevention funds by the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) would be used judiciously for the stated purpose.