Tackling the flood menace in Yobe

Flood is a natural phenomenon which occurs as a result of heavy rainfall that runs down from a breakaway of water across water channels and indirectly flows over places with heavy hits, thereby causing damages. Flooding mostly takes place in an environment with unmapped gutters or areas of water with improper maintenance from dumping of trash which usually block the flow of water through its gutters and also restrict the water from reaching its destination.

The world has been suffering from the effect of flooding, most particularly in Africa, where the rate is rising by 38% almost every year. It was gathered that unprecedented changes were made in some developed countries where emergency policies towards controlling flood are carefully implemented to keep the places, people, and their belongings under the safest standard. Flooding can be possibly controlled when the governing authority understands the main link that causes the breakaway of the water, masses must also be involved in sensitization programs and take responsibility in decision-making to prevent the menace of flooding.

However, in Yobe state every rainy reason comes with damages through flood issues where people and their properties are victims. The local government areas of Gashua, Bursari, Fune, Fika, Nguru, Jakusko, and even the capital city, Damaturu, experience the worst flooding because these places have the largest dams with bridges linking other places to the state. The flood cases recorded in 2022 became a symbol indicating the serious damage caused hitherto by the flood in the state and it is a clear alarm to the authorities with the sole responsibility of handling the issues of a flood.

The recent occurrence of flood in some areas of Yobe state was unprecedentedly terrifying, as it led to the displacement of numerous people from their homes, and destroyed farmlands and other properties. The Yobe state government responded to the incident through the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) by providing succour to the victims. It was a commendable gesture made by the state government. Yet, an urgent intervention and humanly focus are needed to control, strategize, and stop the incessant occurrence of floods almost every year.

From the data on the recent flood, the flood victims have innumerable challenges, ranging from lack of good shelter, insufficient food, poor healthcare and dying from mental disorders.

Simply put, If the authorities concerned can use some programs to retake the victims to their homes, provide them with enough food and healthcare, undoubtedly, the trauma of the flood will curbed. Controlling the flood by changing the lives of the people will help to encourage them in alerting the government to work on tackling the cases of the flood in general.

According to infrastructural development analysis, the basic principle of controlling flooding include building bridges that links to waterways, providing drainage, supervising physical hygiene, reorganizing the buildings on waterways and public awareness on exercising regular maintenance of an environment in places with a high risk of the flood.

However, before reviewing the aforementioned conditions, the Yobe state government must take a step towards implementing a strict policy on environmental control from the state ministry of environment, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), health bodies and the people of Yobe at large. There is also an urgent need to call the attention of Governor Mai Mala Buni’s on tasking the state to follow the government policies for controlling the flood and saving the future of Yobe state.

To curtail the menace of flood government and other agencies laden with the responsibility must supervise the social hygiene among the areas where water channels were constructed and sensitise the masses through public awareness using social media platforms, stakeholders and news stations across the state for enlightening them to stay alert, cooperate with the government in clearing the public trash and share useful information in times of flood.

Furthermore, arranging a specific place for dumping trash and burning it regularly, organizing a team in zonal areas for monitoring the actions of reckless dumping of trash, encouraging the masses to engage in clearing the waterways and gutters at any scheduled time and the Yobe State Government should get the traditional rulers involved in sensitize movement to achieve the process to provide customized trucks for taking away the trash to an outskirt of town, and rebuilding the collapsed bridges and buildings and Attending an emergency report of any suspected breach from bridges or buildings in areas of waterways across the state.

Kasim Isa Muhammad,
Potiskum, Yobe state.