There was massive flooding on Sunday, that overran the Ajaokuta-Ganaja-Lokoja road in Kogi state, which links the eastern part of the state, poor residents of the state who could not afford to pay canoe operators to cross to their homes resorted to swimming, a situated compounded by high fare rates by the operators
Residents noted that the road is strategic to socio-economic activities, linking Kogi to the eastern part of the country which has been made inaccessible to motorists and commuters due to flooding.
The flooding covered the portion of the road at Ganaja village such that it is only by canoes that the commuters can cross from one point to the other.
According to them, canoe operators have cashed in on the development, charging passengers between N150 and N200 to ferry them across the flooded road.
Mr Jimoh an operator of a canoe, said We have to charge high because of the cost of the rigour involved and it is easy to ferry passengers across the flooded road.
A resident also said that the flooding has so far created fear in the minds of residents of Ganaja village and its environs because it has begun to submerge peoples’ houses within the area. Some of the residents have relocated to either their relations or friends in safe communities in the state,” the resident said.
The Nigeria Metrological Agency (NiMet) had last week issued a warning of massive surging of flooding in the country, particularly in 13 states including Kogi state.
The agency predicted that this would happen within the remaining days in September, following the expected heavy rainfall within the period.
Hydro Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) had also on Saturday begun the distribution of relief materials to victims of flood in 10 affected local government areas of Kogi.
HYPPADEC Managing Director, Abubakar Yelwa, warned residents against staying on flood-prone areas.
Yelwa said that the devastating effects of flooding could go beyond anyone’s imagination and the effects should be avoided.
Kogi Commissioner for Environment. Victor Omofeye, said that the state government is aware of the development.
He appealed for calm and caution on the side of motorists and commuters not to endanger their lives by undermining the flood and attempt crossing the flooded road.