Gombe State is reeling from the aftermath of a catastrophic flood that has left a trail of destruction, confirming the loss of 1,838 houses, according to a statement from the Gombe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
In an official disclosure, SEMA Executive Secretary, Abdullahi Abdullahi, highlighted the extensive damage caused by the flood, which struck the state between May and October 2023. The calamity, contrary to earlier predictions, engulfed eight out of the 11 local government areas (LGAs), surpassing the anticipated impact.
The worst-hit areas identified by Abdullahi include Akko, Funakaye, Balanga, Gombe, Nafada, Kaltungo, Shongom, and Yamaltu/Deba. The destructive forces of heavy rains and strong windstorms not only claimed the lives of at least three individuals and injured 22 others but also led to the tragic loss of seven animals.
During an interactive session with journalists in Gombe, Abdullahi provided insights into the state government’s response. Governor Inuwa Yahaya promptly approved the distribution of relief materials to affected communities. The government is also actively engaged in expanding support services to address the immediate needs of those affected.
Abdullahi acknowledged the positive impact of awareness campaigns initiated by the government. He emphasized that Governor Yahaya, upon receiving flood alerts from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and NASA, directed comprehensive sensitization and emergency response efforts. This, according to Abdullahi, played a crucial role in minimizing the loss of lives during the disaster.
Despite ongoing relief efforts, Abdullahi urged patience from those awaiting assistance, assuring them that the state government and relevant agencies are working tirelessly to address their plight. SEMA has reached out to both the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to expedite additional assistance for affected individuals.
As Gombe State grapples with the unprecedented scale of destruction, communities affected by the flood await continued support, underscoring the need for collaborative efforts to mitigate the challenges posed by the disaster.