Disaster: SEMA Raises alarm over Erosion threat in Kaduna Community
…..Why we are still here – Residents
…..We may relocate them, clear structures, says KASUPDA
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (KADSEMA), has raised alarm over an imminent disaster posed by gully erosion to Lusawa area in Romi Community of Chikun Local Government Areas in Kaduna State.
Executive Secretary of the Agency, Muhammed Mu’azu Mukaddas, raised the alarm during the 2nd stakeholders meeting on Flood Preparedness in Kaduna State.
UNICEF’s PREVIOUS INTERVENTION
The community have been living in risk for a long time since flood started washing off the area gradually and is now being taking over completely by erosion. In 2015, several houses were washed away by flood in the area resulting to loss of properties.
Following the 2022 Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s (NiMet), seasonal prediction of probable risks, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and her partners, under the Shock Responsive Social Protection (SRSP) project in Kaduna State, supported 5,000 households with N35,000 unconditional cash transfers each to temporarily relocate to safety.
The move was to mitigate the impact of the anticipated flood as predicted by NiMet in six flood prone communities in Kaduna State, that have been victims of floodings in the last 10years and 794 households of Lusawa in Romi, were beneficiaries.
Expressing concerns over the risk posed by the erosion to the people living in the area and other such places in parts of the state, the ES, noted that consultations with the concerned LGA leaderships with the view to provide temporary shelters in high grounds to accommodate persons that may be affected by the flash flood has become imperative.
Mukaddas, who later led the Standing Committee on Flood Assessment in the State on a sensitization visit to Romi, explained that though Chikun LGA is not among the five probable risks LGAs of Sanga, Jemaa, Kaura, Jaba and Kagarko, according to NiMet’s prediction for 2023, but that the agency has identified Romi as flood prone area because the place has suffered in one way or the other over the years.
“This place has been like this for a number of years and the situation keeps deteriorating because of flooding year in year out and we have people living around it, we are here to sensitize them like we have always done, to vacate this to another location before the season get intensed”. He added.
The ES, stated that the standing Committee’s visit with all necessary stakeholders like the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency (KASUPDA), Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) and other relevant MDAs and partners was to have a first hand assessment of the situation so that the agencies responsible in addressing the challenges can do what they have to do.
WE ARE HANDICAPPED SAYS RESIDENTS
When residents of the area were approached on why they still remain there despite the danger, they said it will be difficult for them to leave because that’s the only home they have.
According to Mrs. Dorcas David, she and her family have nowhere else to go because they can not afford to build another house or even pay for rent elsewhere.
“Honestly we don’t have any place to go apart from this house, this is the only house we have in Kaduna and we don’t have money to pay for rent or build another house.” She said.
According to her, whenever it rains and the flood is heavy, they used to pack out their things to a higher ground and return once the flood is gone.
Another challenge in the area apart from flood, is the issue of hygiene which could lead to several diseases, this Mrs. Dorcas says, is a serious problem which almost everyone in the area especially those on the hill top contribute to by dumping all sorts of refuse including dead animals into the gully.
On his parts, another resident, Yuana Adamu, explained that before they built their houses in the area, the land was plane until few years ago when the river not too far from them started overflowing it boundaries and gradually cutting the soil and it became a path for erosion.
He called on government to intervene in the area because they are not comfortable with the situation, but there’s nothing they can do.
“We are not comfortable with this, but there is nothing we can do about it. I’m calling on the Kaduna State Government to help us construct drainages because I believe it will reduce the erosion and also control the flood when the river is full.
ACTION KASUPDA MAY TAKE
According to an official of Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS), Mr. Zachariah Solomon, who was also part of the assessment visit, the agency may be relocating them permanently from the area because of the danger it poses to the lives.
“We may be moving them out of this place and provide an alternative place for them so that they can stay in a safe place. This place is very dangerous for them to be staying, you can see the environment is deteriorating and the risk is very high.
“We are going to assess the houses that are here to know who has legal documents so that if there is the need for us to move them out, we do it and get the place cleared. We can’t just leave them outside like that, but we are going to make provision for them to live safely”. Zachariah said.