By Francis Sardauna in Katsina
A heavy rainstorm at the weekend destroyed no fewer than 184 houses and washed away farmlands in eight communities of Kurfi Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina State.
Rainstorm had earlier destroyed over 500 houses and killed at least 10 people in Katsina, Jibia, Kankia, Bakori, Kafur and Dutsin-Ma LGAs of the state.
The places recently affected by the natural disaster in Kurfi includes Wurma, Birchi, Tsauri, Kofar-fada, Nasarawa, Kofar-yamma, Sabon-ungwan, Kofar-arewa.
The downpour, which, according to the victims, started around 1:15 a.m. and stopped by 12 p.m on Friday, caused river channels in the affected villages to overflow their banks, resulting to the natural disaster.
When THISDAY visited some of the affected areas yesterday, the residents were still busy salvaging their personal effects from their homes, while others were seen packing out of the affected areas.
The natural disaster sacked many residents from their homes and shops as their apartments were flooded, thereby rendering thousands homeless in the area.
An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity said: “20 houses were destroyed in Wurma, Birchi 32; Tsari, 23; Kofar-fada, 11; Sabon-ungwa, 19; Kofar-yamma, 32; Kofar-arewa, 14; while 43 houses were also destroyed in Nasarawa community”.
The source, however, admonished the federal and state governments to come to their aid, considering the devastating nature of the rainstorm, adding: “It is only government that can assist us because the situation is beyond our financial strength.”
However, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Council, Alh. Jabiru Tsauri, who also confirmed the development to THISDAY in a telephone interview, said, “so far, we have received report of 84 houses affected but we are still carrying out investigation to ascertain the exact figure”.
“We are going to provide relief materials to the affected persons very soon. We have written to the state government through SEMA on the incident. We believe that the state government will intervene soon,” he added.
Tsauri said he had visited the affected areas to sympathise with the victims, and urged residents to inculcate the habit of disposing their refuse properly and desist from dumping refuse on water channels.
While describing the incident as highly devastating, the chairman said the state government had earlier embarked on dredging of rivers, canals and clearing of drains in the local government to avert the scenario.
When contacted, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Haruna Musa, said the agency was yet to receive official report on the incident.
“As I speak to you, my agency has not received any official report concerning the rainstorm in Kurfi. We have that of Jibia, Bakori, Dutsin-Ma, Kankia and Kafur”.