Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Devastating Flood Leaves Over 247 Persons Homeless in Ngoketunjia

More than 247 people have been rendered homeless in Baba I village in Babessi Sub Division (Ngoketunjia Division of the North West Region). This is following a devastating flood that hit the village on September 13, 2015 after a heavy downpour of the rain. As a result, 38 houses collapsed. Though material damaged is estimated in hundreds of millions of FCFA,  no human casualty was recorded. Yet, it is feared that the pools of water created by the flood could serve as habitats for mosquitoes and other loathsome creatures which may eventually lead to another disaster. Majority of the farmers whose houses sang have lost their entire harvests. Inhabitants of the Garri quarter where most of the houses are located have been ordered to moved out of the disaster area by the Administration for Babessi Sub Division. 
According to the Fon of Baba I, HRH Fon Fuekemshi II, the degree of destruction caused by the flood is immense. He told this reporter that when he received a phone call from the quarter head of Garri quarter announcing to him that houses were being sucked in water, he immediately rushed to the scene. “When I got there, the houses were already deeply sucked in water and the best  we could do at that moment was to ordered the people to leave the houses. Few minutes after, some of the houses collapsed”, he said. “I immediately called the Divisional Officer who came to the scene and “we all asked the population to leave the area immediately. My fear was that we did not know the volume of the water that will be coming more”.
Harping on the cause of the flood, the Fon of Baba I village said that when SATOM working on the ring road, they raised road to be higher than the houses leaving avenues for water to flow. “Though their roads are good, the technicians did a lot of wrong work as far as the drainage of water around this area is concern. Formerly the houses were at the same level with the road but it is not the same. The road is higher while the houses are lower”.
On his part, the mayor of Babessi Council, Choh Issah Buba said three ago Babessi village suffered the same problem. He said before the construction of the ring there were no floods and after the construction, flood is becoming rampant in the area. “This flood is coming as a result of the construction of the ring road. Before the construction of the ring road we have not been experiencing floods”. He said the numbers of culverts are not enough to ease the easy flow of water from the hills of Bui Division. The council he said has embarked in the cleaning of gutters to ease the movement of water and above all, has also bought didactic materials and mattresses to donate to victims. “At the level of the council we thought it necessary to provide children with books so that they could go back to school. And we also acquired some mattresses, so that if you are begging on the neighbours to house them, they should at least have something to sleep on”, the mayor continued.
Pa Joseph, one of the victims whose two houses collapsed said he has lost almost the harvest. “I am still thinking how we will survive to meet next farming season. We are thankful to the mayor of Babessi for his support”.
Habiba is a mother of five. Her four-room house collapsed when she just returned from the farm. “I went to the farm and when I reached home at about 4:48pm I discovered that there was water everywhere. It was a horrible scene. I shouted and some young men rushed and helped in evacuating my kids. It maybe they were sleeping”. Habiba, has lost all her harvest. “We rely only on our farm produce to meet up with our needs. I do not know how we will survive, everything has been sucked. Maize, beans, groundnut etc...”
85% of those affected by the flood are in a similar situation. About 60 houses were touched. Majority of the houses that resisted were those constructed with pillars made up of cement while those with sun dried bricks sang.  Elite(s) of Ngoketunjia we gathered met in an emergency meeting to adopt strategies on how the victims could be assisted. Tongues are waging as to what happened to the FCFA 80 million that Government donated to help victims of the Babessi flood. Seemingly, those who were assigned to manage the funds ended up as victims and benefited the greater part while the real beneficiaries had not even a bundle of zinc.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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