Saturday, 6 October 2012

Nigeria: NEMA Warns of More Flood as Crocodiles and Hippos Invade Homes

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Despite the ravaging flood which has sacked thousands of persons in several communities, the National Emergency Management  Agency (NEMA) has warned that there will yet be even more flood in the days ahead. The warning is coming as dangerous animals like crocodiles and hippos are already invading homes in several communities in the north. 
Residents of communities in flood prone areas that are yet to relocate
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have been urged to move now, for their own safety as more flooding is expected.
Speaking on behalf of NEMA Wednesday at Lokoja, the Zonal Co-ordinator, Abuja office, Mr. Ishaya Chinoko, said the country is likely to experience more flooding.
According to him, “What the nation is currently experiencing is white flood caused by excessive rainfall in Cameroun and Guinea, the two sources of Rivers Niger and Benue, which may still continue.”
He added that over 400 communities in Kogi State have already been submerged by the water. 
“Considering the magnitude of the disaster, NEMA has alerted international bodies such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent for support to address the needs of the victims across about 40 relief camps set up across the state to assist the victims,” Chinoko said.
But already, dangerous animals, including crocodiles, snakes and hippos, have found their way into homes and communities in northern states after devastating flooding, residents say.
The creatures were carried along flood-swollen rivers, say the authorities.
“There is now a hippopotamus in (my) house,” Benue State resident, Wuese Jirake told the BBC. “I hope that when it is tired, it may leave my home,” he said further.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the flooding. Hundreds have also died in the worst flooding in decades.
Vast tracts of farmland have been completely destroyed.
Jirake told the BBC he had returned to his home to find it occupied by the hippo.
“This morning I visited my house. It is still inundated with the flood waters above my waist. There is now a hippopotamus in the house,” he said.  He said he had reported the situation to the authorities.
“I hope that when it is tired, it may leave my home. If there is any other way of dealing with the problem, the authorities need to pursue that because it is beyond my abilities.”
Similar situations have been reported in the towns of Makurdi, Agatu, Logo and Adoka, says the BBC’s Is’haq Khali.
The co-ordinator of NEMA in North Central zone, Abdussalam Muhammad, said it was not safe for people to go back to their houses because of the presence of the dangerous animals.
“Presently there are crocodiles and snakes as well as other dangerous animals brought in by the floodwaters that are living in those houses, so, if the people return, it will be harmful to them and they will put their lives at risk,” he said.

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