Owing to a ravaging flood in Kebbi State, the Government says it has lost about N1 billion worth of rice and other farm produce to the flood in different parts of the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture Attahiru Maccido, who made the disclosure on Sunday during an inspection visit to the affected areas in Bagudo and Argungu Local Government Areas of the state said that flood submerged thousands of hectares of farmlands and houses destroying farm produce and personnel belongings in the affected communities.
According to him, in Bagudo Local Government Area, they visited about 19 villages affected by the flood, and in Argungu many communities were affected.
The state implored the Federal Government to construct a dam to address perennial flooding in the state and as well, a reservoir.
He said that among the states that are known for farming, Kebbi state is the only one that does not have a dam of its own adding that they need large reservoirs to reserve the rain water so that it can be used for other activities.
Preliminary assessment showed that damage to rice plantations and other produce due to the flood could be over a billion naira.
“Although it is believed that compensation is one of the solutions to the loss, the state is looking for more durable solution to the devastating flood” he said.
The Commissioner explained that “the visit was to assess the damage and how we can get immediate remedy for those who lost their livelihoods.”
Macciddo said that construction of a dam would control flooding and encourage effective utilisation of water and agricultural resources in the state.
He noted that the dam project would also mobilise participation in agriculture as well as encourage rain fed and dry season activities.
According to him, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) will distribute food and other relief items to the affected farmers and households to mitigate their sufferings.
He also called on wealthy individuals, agricultural firms operating in the state and key players in rice value chain to assist the affected farmers.
“This is a time they should come forward and donate to cushion the effect of the affected farmers.”
In a remark, Muhammadu Kaura, Chairman, Bagudo Local Government Council, said the flood washed away sorghum, millet, maize and rice plantations in the area.
Kaura lamented that settlements in flood prone areas refused to relocate to safer areas in spite of warnings by the authorities, adding that the council would emphasise on sensitisation activities to create awareness on the dangers of the flood.
While urging the Federal and State governments to assist the victims, Kaura called on the people in flood prone zones to relocate to areas with high altitude.