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Flood Kills 15 People, Destroys N900m Worth Properties In Bauchi

No fewer than 15 people have died, while 24 people were injured in flood disasters that accompanied torrential downpours that have ravaged many communities across the 20 local government areas of Bauchi State since the 2021 rainy season began.

The Head of Operations, State Emergency Management Agency in Bauchi State, Dr. Abubakar Gabarin, while speaking in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH in his office on Monday, however, said that only eight people have died across the state.

But checks by our Correspondent from sources within SEMA indicated that the deaths were no fewer than 15 across the 20 LGAs of the state.

A source in SEMA revealed in confidence to The PUNCH that as of August 12th, 2021, “five people died in Jama’are, three in Gamawa, three in Ningi while one person each died in Toro and Darazo LGAs. At least, two more deaths were recorded with one in Duguri village in Alkaleri LGA and one more in another LGA.”

Gabarin said that properties worth more than N900 million have been destroyed across the state including over 6,000 hectares of rice, maize, wheat, millet and other crops, hundreds of houses, 24 bridges, 74 culverts, 573 different animals and many other valuables.

He said: “So far, all the 20 local government areas of the state have been affected by flooding this year. As of last week, only three LGAs had not brought their reports but this morning, they brought theirs.

“So far, the estimated value of houses, farmlands, animals, properties affected are worth N900 million. And that is not all since the rain is still falling and the reports have not stopped coming from the LGAs, and even this morning, I got two reports that are not part of what I have told you.


“From our assessment so far, people affected across the state are over 2,062. Hundreds of houses were affected – some of them collapsed, some only sections were destroyed.

“For the farms, we have over 6,000 hectares of rice, maize, wheat, millet and many other crops were submerged and destroyed, 24 bridges and 74 culverts were destroyed and about 573 animals were killed in the flood across the state.

“We also received the report that 24 people were injured with most of them treated and discharged from the hospital.

“There are pockets of deaths as a result of the flooding like in Gadan Maiwa where three travellers were washed away. In Jama’are, three corpses were recovered which the flood brought from a different place.

“In Darazo, there is one person, in Duguri, Alkaleri LGA, there is one person, Zaki, one person. So far, only eight people have died, but the sad thing is that the flooding is still happening and NiMet (Nigerian Meteorological Agency) is warning that more rain will still fall.”

He said that so far, only three LGAs of Bauchi, Ningi and Kirfi have received assistance from the government adding that there is a high-powered committee that the state government has set up headed by the Deputy Governor that will assess the level of destruction caused and people affected by the flood so that they will be given relief.

He lamented that despite the consistent warnings by NiMet and Bauchi SEMA for people to be more vigilant and careful, this hasn’t been taken seriously.

The SEMA Head of Operations said that last week, the rains that fell were heavy and they kept stressing and sensitizing travellers that when they observe water by the roads, they should stop their journeys even if they are familiar with that road because it can be disastrous.

“For those living by the river banks, when they see the water especially their children, they go into it, take their baths and swim inside but this is not the type of water they are used to and that is why it is called flood.

“You see, it comes with a lot of dirts that cause many diseases, it comes with metals and it covers everywhere. A child can go into that dirty water to bath and might not see the stone underneath it and could hit his head and he becomes unconscious, the water will then wash him away.

“The sharp objects inside can pierce the child and he might not have the strength to save himself and could be washed away. And it is as a result of all these, that we always discover many corpses,” he stated.

He advised people, especially those who have their houses along river banks or waterways, “if they have no means to relocate to other places for the meantime, then, when they sleep, they should be more vigilant because the year’s rain, comes with great strength and NiMet has warned that more rain will still fall.”

He added that: “Secondly, people should desist from disposing of refuse on culverts, gutter, water channels, they should dispose them on higher places because water pipes are on these water channels and if they dispose them there and if some of the pipes are broken, the water flows into the pipes and people end up drinking that same water and remember that there is an outbreak of cholera in the state.

“They should heed to these predictions seriously because it is not only in Nigeria that these predictions are made but we here, ignore these warnings. There are places that for many years now, we have tried that they relocate, but they have refused claiming that the rain comes with its own blessings.”

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