FG Pledges to Provide Relief Materials to Flood Victims In Kebbi
Following the devastating flooding that washed off over 450,000 hectares of rice farmlands and other crops in Kebbi State a few days ago, the Federal Government has promised to mitigate by ensuring that the farmers get improved seeds to restart planting as soon as the rains recede.
Speaking during an on- the- spot assessment of the devastation caused by floods in the State, the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono in company of the Executive Governor, Kebbi State , Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said it was one of the worst disasters witnessed in recent times and said his visit was to restore hope and build up confidence for the farmers in the state.
The Minister who visited the scenes of the floods in Argungu and also those along the Dukku- Makera Road that were completely washed off, said, “what I have seen here today is very devastating, my coming here is at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari who has sent me to commiserate with the people of Kebbi state over the flood and to give you hope and assurance that the government is concerned about your plight and will do something”. He appealed to the farmers not to despair that the Federal Government “will address the situation”.
He acknowledged that Kebbi State is one of the major producers of Rice in the country as well as other crops such as maize, groundnuts, wheat, sweet potatoes, sorghum and millet, stating that a loss to Kebbi will affect other states of the federation.
Nanono said the ministry will immediately set up a special committee to mitigate the situation and ensure that the dry season farming will be boosted. He said the ministry will also encourage the farmers to explore the innovative early harvesting of their produce as is done with other crops and promised to assist them with improved seeds.
The State Governor, Senator Abubakar Bagudu lamented the massive loss to the farmers, explaining that it is not only the rice farms that are affected but also animal crops and fishing grounds as well as human lives were affected.He acknowledged the resilience of the farmers and encouraged them to do more not only to compensate for lost grounds but also to generate more support.
He said the latest flooding in the state is the worst after the 2012 experience and has affected over 450, 000 hectares of land stretching over 270km of farmlands. He thanked the Federal Government for the proactive steps taken to embark on an immediate assessment visit to the state and promised that the state will remain focused and consistent with its agricultural programmes.
Hundreds of villages are said to be affected and many homelands washed away by the floods.
The Minister also visited the Sarki – Kebbi Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mohammed Mera and the Emir of Gwandu who is also Chairman, Kebbi State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ilyasu Bashar . They both expressed appreciation for the speedy visit of the Federal Government to commiserate with the state..
The Emir of Gwandu , Alhaji Bashar said, the flooding has affected many communities who had no option than to relocate. He said the disaster came just when the people were recovering from the shock of covid-19 and listed crops lost to include; Rice, Millet, Sorghum etc.
The traditional ruler also called on the people to be patient and appealed to the media to assist in sensitizing them on the government’s efforts.
The Minister visited the Natsimi Gada of Argungu , also affected by the flood .
Eno Olotu (Mrs)
For: Director, Information