From NDUKAIHE UGWU, Abuja
Rains have wreaked havoc on the famous Argungu Fishing Festival venue in Kebbi State and this isn’t exactly good news for tourism in that part of the country.
Known as Matan Fada in Hausa, the venue and its environs Argungu got submerged in water following days of heavy rains in the State, causing youths in the area to mobilise themselves in a direct labour force in a bid to prevent any further damages from flooding.
To this effect, the youths have deployed bags of sand to block flood-prone areas in order to keep ravaging floods at bay.
AbeyaNews reports that about six other vilages or more under the Argungu Emirate were affected by flooding, including, Babuche, Alwasa, Felande, Alwasa, Gotomo and Tungar Marina, among others, while three bridges were damaged.
Working in collaboration with the Kebbi State Director Labour Agency (KSDLA), the youths worked tirelessly to save Kebbi from being overrun by floods in the areas.
In a chat with newsmen earlier today at the bank of the Argungu River, Chairman of the State Direct Labour Agency (SDLA), Alhaji Bello Dantani, said effort to control further flooding through direct labour was in line with the directive of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu that the imminent collapse of rivers in the State be averted at all cost.
“These rivers, if allowed or left unattended to will result in flood taking over and submerging almost half of Argungu, if not all the town. The flood has caused serious environmental hazards upon these villages and settlements like Alwasa, Felande, Alwasa, Gotomo, Tungar Marina, among others,” Dantani said.
“My agency, in collaboration with the Argungu Emirate Council as well as uncountable number of youth in the area, mobilised in earnest to salvage the River Tabarau which aggressively wanted to break its banks and overflow to upland,” he stressed.
Dantani warned motorists, especially heavy trucks against plying Gawo Bridge not to do so because, according to him, the bridge has been damaged by the flood.
“We are now waiting for our engineers to finish their assessment and observations, so that, very soon, normal transportation would continue as government would do all its possible best to restore the bridge to normalcy,” Dantani assured.
While thanking the chairman of KSDL for collaborating with the Emirate to protect the community, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan, representative of Emir of Argungu, noted that the Emirate had used direct since time immemorial to control flooding in Kebbi whenever it occurred.
He also expressed his gratitude to the Argungu Local Government Chairman, Alhaji Musa Muhammad, promising that the Emirate Council would cooperate with the state government to ensure the successful execution of any project intended to improve the well-being of the people.
“Our government buildings are open to everyone who lost their houses to flood as we are directed by the governor to immediately ensure that those that don’t have a place of living, should be immediately moved to government buildings such as primary and secondary schools,” Muhammad said.