Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria: Many parts of the Rigasa community in the Igabi local government of Kaduna state have been hit badly by gully erosion and persistent flooding.
The incidents destroyed dozens of houses in Daura road and the Bayan Wuya area of the community, forcing hundreds of residents to vacate and flee their houses, to become environmental migrants.
The situation was said to have begun over two decades. According to a resident Sagir Umar, flooding started when some greedy Gardener’s in the riverbank area blocked some waterlines to widen their garden for multiple cultivations without measuring the risk to lives and properties.
While the landslide in the Daura road area was originated after uprooting two big mango trees that resulted in gully erosion which consumes hundreds of houses.
After the incident, the lack of a proper drainage system channels water from different parts of the community into the gully that keeps developing and eventually destroyed hundreds of homes and land.
Nigerian Climate has been changing over decades, with the sudden increase in temperature; drought and desertification; land degradation, and variable rainfall. Although the duration and intensities of rainfall have increased, producing large runoffs and flooding in many places in Nigeria.
According to a 2018, Global Report on Internal Displacement, about 10.2 million Africans were displaced and forced to flee their homes as a consequence of conflict and violence, as well as droughts, floods, erosion, and storms. Internal displacement in Sub-Saharan Africa was higher than in any other region.
Although increasing rainfall has made erosion and landslides more frequent in the community, the commuters survived by locally using sandbags, stone packs, at the gully heads to resist further escalation but they are overpowered.
The community has also written several letters to the state governments, local governments, Ecological Fund, and federal ministry of the environment but to no avail, all efforts returned in vain.
Daily Episode learned that the federal ministry of environments under Dr. Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar’s leadership in October 2019 sends a delegation to the community promising to intervene in the projects.
However, in December 2020, the community was excited to see contractors and a team of engineers with heavy equipment clearing the site for the project, but unfortunately, the contractors only came to add salt to their suffering as the project was abandoned as usual.
Governments at all levels usually failed to complete projects in Nigeria, despite the number of lives put in danger in many circumstances.
Aftermath, the helpless residents are dying of wastewater pollution, access to link roads, and certainly from persistent flooding.
The story of Bilatu Abubakar is quite unfortunate and heart-touching.
Bilatu who spoke to Daily Episode narrates how she survives in one room as the erosion consumes five of her rooms including the restroom and kitchen.
She and her 6 children sleep in a single room with no access to drinking water.
However, Bilatu and her six children, open defecate using the potty and throwing it away
While lamenting the impoverished conditions, she urges the government to alleviate their suffering by completing the erosion control project.
The Abuja road flooding projects.
Sagir Umar, a youth leader in the community disclosed to Daily Episode that, They were told that MDGs and the Ecological fund collaborate in the flooding control projects.
Adding that, the project was expected to begin from Fillin Waya to Bakin Ruwa, but unfortunately, the contractors widen the riverbank before vacating the site without completing the project.
Some residents of Abuja road where flooding is constant, Contributed money to the hired excavator that will widen the drainage systems in hopes to get a lasting solution.