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Laide Oyelude, Katsina
The Muhammadu Rabiyu Model Primary School complex along Kaura Namoda Road, Jibiya, Katsina State has now become a temporary home for over five thousand people displaced as a result of Sunday’s rainstorm.
According to reports, the storm claimed 44 lives and washed away 500 houses at the border town of Jibiya in the state.
The displaced persons are being taken care of by officials of the State Emergency Management Agency and their counterparts from the National Emergency Management Agency.
Other voluntary agencies including members of the Nigeria Aids Group were also seen attending to the displaced people.
The investigation by our correspondent at Jibiya revealed that the actual numbers of casualties may never be known because of the time of the rainstorm.
A resident who gave his name as Balarabe Yusufu said many people were actually swept away by the heavy flood which occurred between 11 pm on Sunday and 4 am on Monday.
Yusufu, a civil servant said, “The 44 people being claimed as the number of casualties was the official figure and it was based on the number of bodies recovered. The heavy flooding swept away several people while they were sleeping, as their houses collapsed on them.
“It was a real calamity and we have never witnessed this in Jibiya. Look at the houses affected too. Personally, I counted close to 1000 at both sides of the drainage either partially damaged or totally collapsed now.”
A 48-year-old farmer, Ismaila Ayuba told PUNCH that he lost two children to the rainstorm in addition to other property.
Ayuba gave the names of the children as Rabi, 7, and Muhammad, 3.
He said, “I am now left with nothing. I lost a house, two goats and everything I had in the flood.
“Only God saved me too as the flood overtook the whole house before it collapsed about 3 am. My wife and I had to swim through the flood. Unfortunately, the children could not and they were swept away. Up and until now, we have not seen their corpses.”
A 70-year-old woman, Hajiya Badiya Ashiru said in addition to losing a house to the flood, she also lost money kept in her care which she put at three million naira.
She said, “My house collapsed about 2.30 am. It was sympathisers who came to rescue me from the flood. People keep money with me; traders, businessmen, politicians, etc and I keep the money in my house because they trust me. I give them their money whenever they need it. Everything has been washed away. Look at the cloth on me, sympathisers gave me.”