By Francis Sardauna
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has commenced arrangement for the building of 325 houses for communities that were displaced by the 2018 flood in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The housing scheme located in Farun Maje community, comprises schools, clinics, shops, security outposts, mosques and other basic social amenities.
The Director-general of NEMA, AVM Muhammadu Muhammed, who unveiled this to journalists while inspecting the project site on Tuesday, said the project would be executed in collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) through its Work Centre.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had on July 15, 2018, visited the flood-ravaged local government area to assess the level of damage caused by the natural disaster.
The flood, caused by torrential rains on Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic, killed more than 52 persons and destroyed thousands of houses in the border town, according to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
During the assessment visit, Osinbajo said the federal government would resettle and compensate the victims, adding that drainages and culverts will also be constructed in the areas affected to prevent further occurrence.
Muhammed, represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Forecasts of the Agency, Kayode Fagbemi, explained that 325 households affected by the flood were expected to benefit from the two-bedroom prototype houses.
He reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved and provided money for the immediate commencement of the project in order to alleviate the predicaments bedevilling victims of the natural disaster.
He said: “The National Emergency Management Agency team comprising the federal government implementation team is here for the relocation, reconstruction and resettlement of people affected by flood in Jibia in 2018.
“We had discussions with the Katsina State Government implementation team yesterday (Monday). The president of the Federal Republic has approved and provided the money for it and we have secured a collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force Work Centre.
“So, we are going to work in collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force to ensure that we build 2-bedroom flats comprising 325 houses for the people that were displaced by the flood. There will be clinics, shops, schools and other facilities in the housing scheme.
“Each household is expected to get 2-bedroom flat and we have taken into consideration the suggestion of Katsina State Government to make sure that the cultural practices are included in the design of the 2-bed room flats.
“If not for the COVID-19, we would have gone farther than this, but we hope that within the next short possible time we should be able to put on this buildings. It is a direct labour project, even the people affected will be employed to do some of the labours and it is a kind of cash for work.”
The NEMA boss stated that President Buhari has also approved the implementation of a similar project for victims of flooding in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Also speaking, the Katsina State Implementation Committee Chairperson, Halima Lawal, said the state government would work with NEMA to ensure speedy implementation of the project.
THISDAY reports that the federal government’s implementation team consists of experts from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, NEMA and the consultants.