By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Heavy flood water have submerged the entire village of Ketso, the country home of the Deputy Governor of Niger State, displacing hundreds of villagers and swallowed up the entire farmlands in the villages.
No fewer than ten other surrounding communities in the area were equally displaced by the heavy deluge of water following increased downpour of rains in the last two weeks.
Several tens of hundreds of hectre of rice plantations, corn fields and sugarcane plantations have been completely submerged in flood water while houses in the communities have been taken over by water.
Ketso is one of the coastal communities of Mokwa local government area of Niger state located on the banks of the River Niger. It has for years experienced perennial floodings with severe economic losses but the villagers refused to relocate elsewhere.
Over twenty five communities exposed to the flood are now displaced and become refugees though some of the villagers are still grandstanding, hanging on structures yet to be swallowed up by.
However, there is no part of the village that is spared by the flood menace as virtually every structures have been swallowed up by the water.
Reports from the area comfirmed that all the villages on the floodplains and flanks of the River are flooded.
Access to the whole area is only by canoes and boats as the lands are now water ways deep enough to carry big passenger Ferries and even giant cruise boats.
Tall tree including Date Palms, tropical coconuts tree, Dump Palms and Locust Beans trees and Bamboos in parts of the areas have been completely submerged, some of them with only few parts of their leaves and shoots visible on the surface of the water.
The village Head of Ketso, Yahaya Abdullahi said the devastations were enormous as all the farmlands with crops in the area are under water.
The mainstay and occupation of the villagers which are fishing and farming are now in total jeopardy as all their farm implements and fishing gears, boats and other tools have been swept away by the flood.
Acting Director General of the state’s Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Garba Salihu said the state government was considering permanent solution to the perennial flooding by resettling the communities away from the area.
The emergency management agency chieftain disclosed that the state government has acquired upland areas in parts of Mokwa council area to relocate some of the communities.
The Village Head of Ketso, Yahaya Abdullahi said his people were now willing to be resettled by the state government since according to him the enormity of the disaster caused by the perennial flooding was continually increasing year after year.
Though no life was lost in the recent incident, the villagers have lost their economic lifewires and savings, their farm tools and implements, fishing gears, boats and canoes as well as other tools including household effects.