SOME residents of Lafia, Nasarawa State have appealed for federal and state government’s immediate assistance in ensuring effective flood control at Umar-Katako Bridge on the Lafia-Akwanga highway.
They made the appeal in separate interviews with newsmen in Lafia on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that since Monday, Lafia had witnessed downpour which had submerged the bridge located in Shabu community outside Lafia.
The flood had resulted in gridlock, disrupting vehicular movement from Lafia to Akwanga Local Government Area and other parts of the state.
Many motorists, who were affected by the flooding around the bridge, were forced to wait for hours to have clear visibility of the bridge before passing through it.
Superintendent of Police (SP) and Officer in Charge of Medicals at the Nasarawa State Police Command, Dr Ndukwe Chidozie, said the recent flooding was enough signal for the federal and state governments to take immediate precaution to avert impending havoc.
“There are so many motorists plying that route to different destinations. So you can imagine a motorist who has little knowledge of flood route, especially at night, the outcome can be catastrophic,” he said.
Chidozie appealed for a bigger bridge to be constructed to accommodate more water and allow motorists pass over it even during heavy rainfall.
“Everybody should be mindful anytime it rains. So I appeal to the masses, especially motorists plying that route to be patient while government finds solution to the issue.
“It is not easy but I am confident that a solution will be found to avoid disaster,” he said.
Mallam Usman Bala, a motorist also appealed for immediate assistance so that Nigerians travelling for the Sallah holidays to other parts of the country through Lafia did not have to encounter flood on the way.
“The bridge is small and heavy water passes through it to a major river. So whenever there is heavy rainfall, the small bridge is easily submerged.
“I just hope a palliative measure will be put in place so that our Muslim brothers and sisters travelling for the Sallah holiday will reach their destinations safely,” he said.
Mr Yusuf Otos, another resident called on the government to direct relevant agencies to place safety officials at every flooding flash point across the state to ensure that residents were guided to safety during downpour.
“Officials of the emergency agencies both at the federal and state levels and road safety officials should be close to flood flash points, so that they can guide motorists on appropriate steps to take to avoid any unfortunate incident.
“These officials are professionals and know what best to do. So in a situation whereby government is taking its time in finding lasting solution to the problem, our officials should be the temporary palliative to save lives,’’ he said.
NAN reports that due to the flooding on the bridge and other parts of the state, Nasarawa State House of Assembly passed a resolution on Tuesday asking the state government to direct its relevant agencies to sensitise the public on the impending dangers of flooding.
– Aug. 7, 2019 @ 16:00 GMT |
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