Residents Groan over Persistent Flooding in Katsina

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By Francis Sardauna

Residents of Matazu, the headquarters of Matazu Local
Government Area of Katsina State, have continued to count their losses over the recent flood that wreaked havoc in the town.

Victims of the disaster, who are currently homeless, lamented what they termed the persistent flooding in the area orchestrated by gully erosion “without government intervention”.

The flood, caused by last Friday’s heavy downpour, which lasted for five hours, also left some residents of the area injured, as no fewer than 20 houses, including cemetery were destroyed.

The state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) had earlier said flood had rendered hundreds of people homeless in 15 local government areas of the state.

The Executive Secretary of the Agency, Mr. Babangida Nasamu, named Dutsi, Daura, Sandamu, Katsina, Faskari, Batagarawa, Danmusa, Danja, Kusada, Jibia, Kaita, Ingawa, Kankia, Kurfi and Bindawa as the 15 local governments affected by the disaster.

But when THISDAY visited Matazu, it was observed that the flood wreaked havoc in Ugwan Malamai and Shantalawa as farmers in the agrarian communities were adversely affected by the flooding, as their farmlands suffered severe erosion.

It was also observed that Bin-bas Nursery and Primary School in Shantalawa and the house of the former Transition Committee Chairman of the Council, Mr. Kabir Farouq, were on the verge of collapse.

Some residents of the areas, who spoke in an interview, attributed the situation to poor channelization and lack of proper layout as the major causes of the flooding, which they said has become a yearly occurrence.

An affected widow, Mrs. Hajara Kamilu, said: “I was inside my room when the rain started. I did not have the premonition that the rain would cause the flood that it eventually caused.

“I got to know of the incident when I started seeing water inside the room and before I knew it, water had taken over the entire building. All my items have been destroyed by the flood.”

Another victim, Mohammed Surajo, said all his belongings were lost to the flood and the house was partly affected, saying he now lives with his son as the house is no longer habitable due to havoc done by the flood.

Surajo, 61, said: “Water submerged the house and there was no way for me to escape, but God eventually sent some neighbours to me who carried me out of the house. I narrowly escape death that day.”

On his part, Malam Ibrahim Khalid said members of his family had relocated to a friend’s house, adding that his family has been living on the mercy of relatives and friends.

According to him, “All our clothes and other personal properties were destroyed and life has since become miserable for us. Government should come to our aid.”