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23 people dead, 116k displaced in disastrous Benue flood

By Fisayo Ogunsakin

About 23 people have been confirmed dead with 74 others sustaining serious injuries due to the surging River Benue in four Local Government Areas in Benue state.

The flood has also displaced a total of 116,084 people from their homes while 12,856 households were affected by the disaster.

The Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Dr Emmanuel Shior announced this during his update on the flood situation in the state on Tuesday in Makurdi.

The Executive Secretary noted that 104 communities in 11 LGAs including Apa, Tarka, Otukpo, Agayu, Gboko, Gwer West, Logo, Guma Vandeikya, Katsina-Ala and Makurdi were all affected by the flood.

Dr. Shior further stated that 4,411 houses so far had been submerged in the affected LGAs while 14,040 hectares of farmland were washed away.

He said that responders from the agency were still profiling more victims, lamenting that the state government was already overwhelmed by the situation.

“We are already grappling with the persons displaced by the armed Fulani herdsmen attacks and then this. It is obviously too much of a burden for the state government and we are already overwhelmed because the state government does not have the capacity to handle the situation.

“We are appealing to the Federal Government, international and local humanitarian organizations and spirited to persons to come to our aid.”

“Already we are today flagging off the distribution of thousands of bags of rice, cartons of noodles and other food and non-food items. We are expecting more of the relief materials and as we procure, we distribute them, but we are starting with Agatu which is more devastated with major parts of the LGA already submerged while the people are taking refuge on the road shoulders. We are also distributing in Makurdi,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Principal Researcher and Resue Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, John Digha said that his agency would provide food and non-food items to support victims of the flood.

He said the federal agency had already deployed its mobile water treatment plant with the capacity to treat 2,000 litres of water per hour to the state to assist and treat the already polluted water sources in the flooded communities.

”In the past two days, we have treated and distributed 140,000 litres of water to the victims,” he said.

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