Flooding: Effects of climate change in North
By THOMAS ADEJO –
It was like a joke, many people did not believe that expert predictions will come so soon. And when the heavens were opened the children of Abraham were devastated. It is flood, and flood everywhere. The result of the flood was the displacement of several hundreds of thousands of people. This is the situation in Kaduna and other parts of the North. From Borno to Adamawa, Yobe to Kano, Bauchi to Plateau, Benue to Kogi, Birnin Kebbi to Niger and Sokoto to Zamfara, it was all stories of flood.
In all these places residential houses and public structures have been either washed away or submerged by the devastating flood, rendering several thousands of people homeless while property worth billions of naira have been destroyed. Though at the time of writing this report, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was yet to come out with the estimated amount of money property lost to flood worth, financial guru gave a conservative amount to millions of naira.
The Kaduna flood is among several worse cases in the North. From Kawo to Ungwan Rimi, Kabal, Doki to Kigo Road new extension and other areas in the state capital,, it was all stories of woes as at least 25,00 people have been displaced. A visit to areas devastated by flood showed that the flood victims are currently taken refuge either within the premises of public schools or others are squatting with relations.
In some of the schools children and women were seen in pathetic situation. Apart from the fact that the children and women are exposed to cold, and mosquitoes, the victims have no means of feeding. However, experts on climate change had warned Nigerians on the devastating consequent of climate change in the country. Before the rains started, environment experts had warned that there was going to be heavy down pour in the country which would lead to flooding across many states in Nigeria. The experts also advised governments at various levels in the country and individuals especially those residing along coastal lines and River banks to relocate. But unfortunately, this advise was not heeded and the result of this development was the ugly situation we have find ourselves.
In the North many people think that the effect of climate change can only be noticed through the rapid desertification that is swallowing our land. Desertification, no doubt, is the worse of the many impacts of climate change just as the current flood situation in the country but our people continue to show ignorance inspite all the awareness being created in the media and other means of mass communication.
Some victims of flood in Kaduna who spoke to our reporter said they did not know that the water could get up to their house. Mrs. Hauwa Mohammed, a mother of six remarked that, “we have heard that the Kaduna River will get full to capacity but little did we know that the water will get to our house just as malam Suleiman Ibn Salihu lamented that, “the water came to my house when we were all sleeping. It was like a dream and I have lost all my property but I thank God no member of my family was taken away.”
According to him, “we were told that the rains were coming and Kaduna River would overflow its banks but I did not know that the water will come up to my house. I am appealing to government to come to my assistance. Right now that I am talking to you, I have no place to put my head and my children, their mother and myself are sleeping in the open premises of the primary school.” However, malam Salihu claimed that he is not aware about anything called climate change.
Whatever the case may be, the reality of climate change is now with us. There is nothing we can do about it only that the people and government should be prepared for the worst and take necessary pre-cautionary measure to avert the devastating situation. People should avoid erecting residential structures along water ways just as government and its agents should desist from allocating land for erecting residential buildings near River banks. There is no doubt the fact that, farmers who planted crops at the bank of River Kaduna are counting their loses now while those whose houses were built on water ways have lost, not only their houses but all their belongings. Yes! Climate change is real and the impacts of the climate change is being felt all over the North and indeed throughout Nigeria
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