From Isaac Anumihe, Kebbi
FOLLOWING the devastation of over 37,610 hectares of rice farm and the dislocation of over 30,450 rice farmers in Kebbi State by flood, there are strong indications that the cost of rice will go up next year. Kebbi State alone produces over 70 per cent of local rice in the country.
Speaking during a presentation of food and non- food materials to the flood victims, the Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi, disclosed that 12 out of the 21 local governments in the state were affected by the flood .The affected areas include Argungu, Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Kalgo, Dandi, Jega, Bagudu, Yauri
Dank/Wasagu, Koko/Besse, Shanga and Suru.
Also, two communities in Makera, namely Wabakko Hausa and Wabakko Fulani were dislodged by the flood disaster.
Sidi noted that, although Kebbi was not the only state affected by the flood, over 70 per cent of farmers and farmlands in the state suffered devastation.
“These negative hydro- metrological conditions were not peculiar to Kebbi State because flood has also affected several states across the country.
But it saddened my heart to note that about 70 per cent of farmlands in the aforementioned local governments were affected. Since 70 per cent of the populace are farmers, it means that 70 per cent of the population in the affected areas may not have an adequate amount of food,” he said.
He, however, warned the communities to avoid dumping of refuse and erecting settlements on water channels as these could go a long way to reduce the negative impacts of disaster on livelihood and the environment.
The NEMA boss also advised the state government to reconsider the abandoned Zauro Polder Dam project, saying the project was designed to serve as a buffer dam to excess water that might be released from Goronyo and Shagari dams in Sokoto State.
In his remarks, the Governor, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, said that the Federal Government underestimated the devastation by the figure it gave. While faulting the Federal Government’s figure,he called on both the state and the federal authorities to collaborate so as to arrive at an agreeable figure.
Source : SunOnline