Massive flooding on Sunday engulfed the Ajaokuta-Ganaja-Lokoja highway in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi state. The highway links the capital metropolis with the eastern part of the state. The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the flooding covered the part of the road in the town of Ganaja in such a way that only travelers in canoes could cross the flood.
Residents point out that the highway is strategic for socio-economic activities as it links Kogi with the eastern part of the country, which has now become inaccessible to motorists and travelers due to flooding.
According to them, canoe operators have cashed in on the development, charging passengers between N50 and N100 to transport them across the flooded road.
“We have to charge so high for the cost of the rigor involved.
“As you can see, it is not easy to transport passengers through the flooded road,” one Jimoh, a canoe operator, told NAN.
A resident also said that the floods so far have created fear in the minds of residents in and around Ganaja village because they have started to submerge people’s houses within the area.
“Some of the residents have therefore moved in with their family or friends in safe communities in the state,” the resident said.
The Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet) last week issued a warning of a massive increase in flooding in the country, particularly in 13 states including Kogi.
The agency forecast that this would happen in the remaining days of September, after heavy rains expected within the period.
Commission for the Development of Hydroelectric Energy Production Areas (HIPPADEC) also on Saturday began the distribution of relief materials to flood victims in 10 affected areas by the Kogi local government.
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HYPPADEC managing director Abubakar Yelwa warned residents not to stay in flood-prone areas.
Mr. Yelwa said the devastating effects of the floods could be beyond anyone’s imagination and the effects must be avoided.
Kogi Environment Commissioner Victor Omofeye also told NAN by phone that the state government was aware of the development.
According to him, the government is looking for the best way to deal with the situation, in particular the affected residents.
He called for calm and caution on the part of motorists and commuters so as not to endanger their lives by undermining the flood and trying to cross the flooded highway.