Tears, sorrow as flood wreaks havoc in Adamawa
“We prayed and fasted for seven days to have rain in Adamawa State, so that our crops that were dying because of dearth of rainfall for two months could get enough water to grow, but when God released the rain, it became tragedy and tears for my family.”This was the bitter experience of a 78-year-old widower, Mr. Clement Ubong John, who narrated to The Guardian, in tears, how his life investment vanished with the devastating flooding.
The rain started on Monday at about 9:00am without any unusual sign. It was devoid of normal storms that constantly accompany downpour in Adamawa. For nine hours, the rain persisted, and when it eventually stopped, it brought tears and sorrow, instead of jubilation, due to the magnitude of destruction and deaths recorded that morning.
While victims were still struggling to recover from the shock, on Tuesday afternoon, a heavier rain came, claiming lives of more that eight people, including a mother and her child.Ubong, who is a resident of Jambutu, a Yola suburb, lost his houses, comprising five separate two-bedroom apartments, together with his livestock and his 10-hectare rice farm, all washed away with no sign of any existing plantation before the rain.
Tearfully, he said he was no longer alive, describing “himself as a moving corpse, waiting for burial. Where will I start from at this age? I invested all my life savings to build this house, so that I could use the proceeds to sponsor my children. Everything has gone in few hours. This means my children’s schooling has come to an end…”
Ubong is not the only victim of the two-day torrential rain. A senior correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr. Yakubu Uba, who resides in Yola town got more than he bargained for, as his entire fence, together with the economic trees in the house were uprooted. It was the same scenario for other residents of the area.
At the government quarters, behind Senator Okorocha Foundation Secondary School, located at the Federal Housing Junction, the flood sacked occupants and took over the quarters, relocating some of the buildings to nearby rice farms.
In Bachure, a suburb of Jimeta, Yola-North local government, all the roads leading to the slums were shut down by the flood. Cars, houses, schools and churches were all submerged.
A tyre dealer, Mr. Sunday Yusuf, told The Guardian that his entire household was swept away, including his two dogs. He blamed the flood on poor design of the area by government.
“This is a government-designed residential area, but there is no drainage system. The roads are not properly constructed and people built on water lines. All these illegalities are due to lack of government supervision,” he said.
No one knows when the flood victims’ tears will dry, as the fear of rain in Adamawa remains high. Most residents in the slums have relocated to the highland to avoid flood.Hunger is looming in the state, due to the destruction of farmlands and animals the flood brought in its wake.
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