By Rita Iliya
Minna, – Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has solicited help from the Federal Government to tackle incessant flooding in the state.
Mr Jide Orintunsin, Media and Publicity Coordinator to the governor made this known in a statement on Monday in Minna.
Bello said floods had weakened roads in the state and led to the collapse of seven bridges on some critical and strategic roads.
He said many villages had been submerged by flood while several others faced the threat of being submerged since the commencement of the rainy season.
The governor said the financial implications of the flooding were beyond the capacity of the state and called for support from the Federal Government to deal with the situation.
According to him, “natural disaster is beyond everybody, especially now with the effect of global warming and climate change, we are worst hit in Niger state.
“The flooding we are experiencing at the early stage of rainy season is a big threat to communities in riverine areas of the state .
“At the moment, we have seven bridges that are cut off in the state due to heavy rain and flooding. We have some villages submerged in water.’’
He said downpours in the last few days had destroyed some strategic roads.
“Aside from the debilitating effect of flooding that has rendered our roads weak, the volume of trailers and overweight articulated vehicles plying these roads have further worsened the roads.’’
Bello said some of the roads were up to 30 years old and needed to be rebuilt, adding that this would require a lot of money that the state could not afford.
“We have been consulting with respective federal agencies.
“With the magnitude of what is happening now, we will write reminders with pictures and video clips of the devastation so that Federal Government can come to our aid,” he said.
The governor, however advised people living in flood prone areas to be vigilant and proactive by ensuring that their lives were safe .
He directed the state Emergency Management Agency to be prompt in responding to distress calls.