Ojoma Yusuf, Yola
Adamawa state senator representing the southern senatorial zone, Binos Dauda Yaroe, says he will present a Bill seeking for the dredging of the river Benue across Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Kogi states as a result of incessant flood that perennially overrun communities in southern Adamawa state.
In his speech, Binos said his people are tired of collecting relief materials and having their farm produce consumed by heavy flooding annually.
He however noted that tabling the Bill will do a lot for his people, seeking for the dredging of the Benue river in Adamawa, the building of buffet Dams to conserve excess volumes of water which could trigger irrigation and dry season farming and eventually empower locals.
He said he would also raise a motion that would compel relevant bodies like NEMA to immediately assess the damage caused by the flooding on communities in southern Adamawa and some parts of central Adamawa affected by the flood.
Binos made remarks while on an on-the-spot assessment of local communities affected by heavy flooding in Demsa, Numan, shelleng and Guyuk local governments of Adamawa state.
Binos laments the state of helplessness of the locals as houses have been leveled to the ground, farmlands submerged and economic activities have been ground by the invading flood.
Binos said, “This behaviour of dishing out relief materials annually is not sustainable. We have to seek meaningful, productive and economically sensible solutions to this flooding.
“I am working on a Bill that would be presented at the house within the week which seeks to proffer a lasting solution to the environmental disaster that affects our people. The Bill will be in collaboration with all the senators from the affected states and we will call for immediate disbursement of ecological funds for the dredging of river Benue and all its adjoining tributaries in Adamawa’, Taraba, Kogi and Benue states.
“The Bill will also call for creation of Buffer dams in strategic locations of these states that would serve as shock absorbers for conserving and diverting excess water which our people can use for irrigation farming and dry season farming.
“And the Bill will also seek for the immediate intervention of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in assessing the immediate situation of our affected communities and provide relief materials to cushion the adverse effect of the flood as most of the the residents have lost their farms, homes and livelihood.
“We will be working towards procuring farm implements like water pumping machines to support our local communities to engage in the dry season farming and to get them back on their feet as soon as possible.”
While welcoming the senator, the paramount Ruler of Mbula kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Bwaltam Bently Biyapo, said we are grateful we have a perceptive and visionary representative who has already captured everything that concerns our people.
HRM Bwaltam said, “Right now, there are seventeen (17) communities that have been completely flooded and the people have moved to safer ground.
“Two communities of Tasala and we could not go in because there is no way to go through. We have two camps for the internally displaced people in Lo and Bilaci where our people have been camped.
“The situation is critical for women and children who have been in the open sleeping in classrooms and making a living with what they can because their crops and farmlands have been swept away by the flood.
“All relevant government bodies and agencies should quickly come to aid and support our people who really need help.”
In response to the Senator’s plight, the chairman of Demsa local government, Weneka Westly Fwa said, Communities in Demsa have been overwhelmed by the magnitude of the volume of water that has overtaken their lives and livelihood.
Fwa said, “Members of my community are in a critical situation and in urgent need for help.
“Women and children have been sacked, exposed to mosquitos, hunger, air and water borne diseases, right now, they don’t have food and the one they are hoping for have been submerged and dried up right in their presence.
“This is obviously beyond what they can handle, the relevant institutions and bodies should please quickly come to our aid.
“I want to thank governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and our Senator, Binos Dauda Yaroe, for their proactive sensitivity and responsiveness to the plight of our people.”