As communities along the riverbank in Kogi State continuously get flooded, over ninety percent of the entire land mass of Ibaji, one of the Twenty One Local Government Areas in Kogi State, Nigeria has been flooded and completely submerged in water. The people in the area have been displaced, while several lives and properties are continuously being lost.
The area has a land mass of about 12,800 square kilometres, and a population of 127,572 as recorded in the 2006 national census.
According to an Online Conversation report released to Journalist in Lokoja, the 2022 flood has ravaged and destroyed the wealth of the Ibaji people.
The agricultural produce destroyed so far is estimated to cost over one billion naira. The worth of properties namely, houses, shrine, tourism asset and small scale enterprise is not less than Five billon naira
In the lead presentation at the conversation, Comrade Oladipo Makakese Bayode, described Ibaji local Government Area is the food basket of Kogi state and also food supplier to most part of the eastern Nigeria, agricultural produce like yams, cassavas, rice and palm oil are in abundance in the area,.
Bayode, also posited that “Ibaji Area is in a low land. Most parts of the area have an average elevation of between 33 and 37 metres above sea level, which is the main reason why the area is prone to flooding between July and October annually but he said this year’s flood is colossal and if nothing tangible is done, the communities around the area might not come out of the loss quickly”
He called on Federal Government to as a matter of urgency come to the assistance of the people of the area.
“This assistance must be wholesome beyond the usual relief materials like pieces of zinc, mattresses, few bags of rice by NEMA and other Agencies.
“The entire area needs sustainable reconstruction, economic and social infrastructure wise particularly in the provision of catalyst of economic growth. The agriculture potentials of the area, which is her main stay must be revigorated if the potentials must be resuscitated.
In his presentation, Bayode also argued that Kogi state has been hit by the greatest flood disaster in her history and this disaster has turned over one million person to be internally displaced persons, that now lacks the basic needs of life like shelter, food, water, clothing and health service. As a result of this and the need to save lives, the Federal government, Donor Agencies, NGOs and spirited individual are called upon to come to the rescue of the people.