Some 37,610 hectares of farmland, 5,495 houses and 25,950 people have been affected by flood in 12 local government areas of Kebbi, an official of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.

The Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sidi, made the disclosure in Birnin Kebbi on Friday during a courtesy call on Kebbi Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu.

He said the local government areas affected were Argungu, Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Kalgo, Dandi, Jega, Bagudu, Yauri and Danko/Wasagu as well as Koko/Besse, Suru and Shanga local government areas.

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Sidi said the negative hydro-meteorological conditions were not peculiar to Kebbi because the flood had affected many other states across the country.

“It saddens my heart to note that about 70 per cent of land in the aforementioned local government areas are affected,” he said.

Sidi explained that since 70 per cent of the populace were farmers, it meant that 70 per cent of the population in the affected areas might not have adequate food.

He said “NEMA could build the capacity of various response organisations and grassroots to prepare them to mitigate, cope and respond better to disasters through awareness and sensitisation campaigns and coordination of emergency response efforts.”

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The director-general called on local communities to complement the efforts of the federal and state governments by not dumping refuse in water channels or erecting settlements on waterways.

He called on the relevant authority to reconsider the Zauro Polder Dam Project which had been abandoned in the state

Sidi said the facility “was designed to serve as a buffer dam for excess water that might be released from Goronyo and Shagari dams in Sokoto State”.

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Responding, Bagudu thanked NEMA for its recognition and support to the state and said the agency had justified its existence for the prompt response to any tragedy and disaster in the country.

“The effect of the flood is quite devastating as we are expected to produce more produce for the country but we will make it up by engaging fully in dry season farming,” the governor said.