The Governor Of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, says the state needs urgent help to resettle over 15,000 people allegedly displaced by floods.
He said losses incurred were in excess of N10bn, calling on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the North-Central state.
The governor spoke in Abuja on Tuesday after he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House to brief him on the situation in his domain.
He added that besides houses lost to the floods, thousands of hectares of farmlands were also submerged.
Abdulrazaq added that the flooding also caused poor yields from the farms this season.
He stated, “I came to the President, among other things, to discuss ecological and developmental issues. And over the weekend, we had huge rainstorm that destroyed about 5,000 houses in the State capital. We had huge flooding in Kwara North and the bank of River Niger.
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“There are a lot of internally displaced people at the bank of River Niger and in the State capital. The State needs virtual aid to abate the crisis.”
The Kwara governor told reporters that Buhari was very receptive.
He added, “Very proactive, the Federal Government is coming in to assist the state. The new General Manager (GM) at National Emergence Agency (NEMA) is also coming to Kwara to see the situation for himself.
“Already, NEMA is on ground in Kwara. He promised that the cycle will be shorter this time around. Before, after flooding, it will take up to six months before the aid comes in.
“But, he has promised that things have been turned around at NEMA and they will act promptly. I believe him because he is an ex-Air Force officer. It will be regimented.”
When asked about the details of the havoc wreaked in the state, he replied, “We have about 5,000 houses and thousands of hectares of farmland are under water. Close to about 10,000 to 15,000 people are already displaced so far.
“So, it is straining the state’s economy. That is why we need virtual aid.”
He also spoke on the impact on food security, “Luckily for us, we did two cycles of rice farming in the area affected. We are hoping to do three cycles. Yes, there is huge impact. We are expecting bumper harvest this season, especially with federal government’s intervention in the agricultural sector.
“But unfortunately, we are going to lose this harvest and we hope we will be able to gain ground. “We also thank federal government as they gave 10,000 hectares irrigation scheme to boost our dry season farming. That project is on course now.
“The first line were things like blankets, buckets, food, roofing sheets, and building materials generally. After that come things like fertilisers, pesticides, and seedlings to help them recover.”
Speaking specifically on the financial estimates of the losses, Abdulrazaq stated, “We are checking about N5 to N10bn in losses.”
On the part of the state government, he claimed that so far it had collated data on the losses and sent relief to the victims, especially food items.