NEWS

Food security: Senate urges FG to address flood by River Benue

By Benjamin Arida://

Senate has said that the perennial flood by River Benue and attendant consequences of loss of lives, displacement of people and the destruction of farm lands, are major threats to food security in the country, warning that it would continue if urgent step is not taken by the federal government to address the situation.

The Red Chamber has, therefore, taken a move to facilitate the inclusion of the dredging of River Benue project in the 2024 Appropriation Bill to address the perennial flooding and its multi-dimensional consequences.

Also, the Senate urged President Bola Tinubu to facilitate the construction of Dasin Hausa Dam proposed to be in the Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State to curtail the potential risk of excessive flood from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon.

These resolutions were sequel to a motion, titled: “Need to prevent loss of lives caused by floods and un-dredged River Benue in Adamawa State”, sponsored by Senator Aminu Iya Abbas (PDP Adamawa Central) during emergency plenary held on Monday.

Senator Abbas, while presenting the motion, said “the River Benue is an international river flowing into Nigeria from the highland of Northern Cameroon through Jimeta in Adamawa State, Ibi in Taraba State, Makurdi in Benue State and finally meets River Niger at Lokoja (in Kogi State).”

According to him, “the volume of water from the river is adversely affected by the climate change and construction of dams resulting to its uncontrolled shrinking with devastating effects on agricultural activities such as dry season farming, floods, negative effect on inland waterways transportation.”

He added that River Benue flows across seven local government areas of Fufore, Yola South, Yola North, Girel, Demsa, Numan and Lamurde, “which explained why Adamawa State is always affected by consequences of flood disaster largely caused by lack of dredging.”

Senator Abbas, while quoting the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, revealed that in 2022 alone, floods displaced over 241 million people and over 600 fatalities were recorded with expensive hectares of farm lands across the affected states swept off.

“As a result of flood by the River Benue on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, 32 people were on board trying to cross the river at Garin Alaji near Chikito village where the boat capsized, but only seven bodies were discovered and five rescued alive. The remaining are unaccounted for up till now in addition to the earlier reported case where 52 people lost their lives in the same river.

The Senate in its further resolutions, urged NEMA to provide relief materials to the victims of the deceased and embark on enlightenment of dangers of crossing rivers before and after rainfall.

It also advised the National Inland Waterways Agency, NIWA to investigate the causes of increased number of boat mishaps in the state.

Peterideal

A journalist by profession and I have been in active practice for so many years. A graduate of Political Science from University of Abuja. Maried with four children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *