Flood and imminent food shortage

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Flooding is a serious, naturally occurring problem for rice production in the rain‐fed lowlands season. High per cent of the rice‐growing area in the Northeast is affected by flash flooding at various stages of growth.

The increase in the frequency and duration of heavy rainfall due to climate change has negatively affected plant growth and development, which eventually causes the death of plants if it persists for days. Even sorghum are not getting the needed sun for growth because of the incessant rain. God forbid food shortage.

This is the reason many rice farmers don’t do the rainfed farming and restrict themselves to the irrigation farming where the control of the water is in the hands of the farmer.

Myself and other rainfed rice farmers often call on researchers and government to put more priority for breeding submergence‐tolerant rice. Sadly, all these calls end on the desks of policymakers. The National Agricultural Seeds Council is one of those good for nothing government agencies that have long forgotten why they were established.

Even the much talked Faro44 couldn’t withstand this year’s flooding. Before our eyes the flood started affecting our rice with leaf senescence and later death of the entire hectares of the farm which has grown to even pass one’s knees. Initially, we thought its the normal submergence of rice by water where the water will pass and you will see the rice but NO, the flood kept coming and it’s days that not a standing rice could be seen. The locals in the community said they’ve never in their entire life seen this kind of ravaging flood that has caused them lot of destruction to their crops. Imagine a person many children, multiple wives and dependents with only one farm and has invested much time and resources only for this flood to wash away, where is he going to start now?

The stories are heart wrenching when one sees how big bridges were taken away in Gulani, Gujba and other LGAs. Staff of International Rescue Committee in Yobe had to make a U-turn because it couldn’t take medical services to IDPs settlements in hard to reach areas due to the flood. How can one pass a road and bridge completely taken away by flood? The contract of the project will later likely be awarded to a corrupt contractor who will build substandard bridges that will be taken away by even the air of sneeze.

The stories of people getting killed by collapse of mud rooms on them is too numerous to count. Those who survived the collapse of their buildings are taking shelter elsewhere.

Floods are natural disasters but it’s good that rainfall data must be collected rapidly in real-time and flood estimates computed accurately in order that adequate and timely warnings may be issued to mitigate flash-flood losses.

What do we have? Ours is a community that lacks common flood warning program where gages, sensors, and other equipments are used to monitor flood.

Both SEMA’s and NEMA’s intervention to flood victims is commendable and no one would think twice about bringing succour to the downtrodden, but wait, do you think this year in, year out multi million naira interventions is sustainable in the future in the face of dwindling revenues and the interventions itself marred with corruption?

The agencies in some places have put their heads on ground waiting for news of floods to get approval by the powers that be to OPEN FIRE on recurrent expenditures that no one would be asked to account for like monies budgeted for counterinsurgency.

More rain is on the way with the Nimet projecting heavy showers in August. Should more floods continue to translate to more cash and relief materials meant for flood victims getting diverted?

Have we heard anything again after the sack of NEMA’s erstwhile DG, Maihaja?

The CSOs should push the government to establish comprehensive oversight structures to ensure that disaster relief funds for the victims and reconstruction of flood-stricken residences are not subjected to theft and corruption.

One will not be wrong to assume that common rain gauge will not be seen in State Emergency Agencies! SEMAs should make a paradigm shift of food distribution to mitigation of floods in collaboration with Ministries of Works. To one’s surprise, no one in Yobe for instance can tell you where this flood is heading to. Talks of the water going to the Lake Chad are only guesses. Less than a week helicopter monitoring will show you where this water is going to. What of even satellite pictures? But what do you have? Maihaja promax as heads of Emergency Agencies conniving with the powers that be to enrich themselves.

You’ve been waiting to hear of what befell this tractor huh? No lele you go hear.

This tractor belongs to someone I know very well who purchased it for commercial purposes and also used it to plough farm. Much money as spent for purchase, changing spare parts and servicing it.

It was time to plough farms. Two days after a heavy rain, the tractor on its way to plough a land in preparing of beans planting got stuck like Nigeria in the hand of Buhari. All efforts to remove it using other heavy tractors failed. Much digging by shovels to it failed.

The driver of the rescueing vehicle left the moment he realized his tractor will be stuck in the wet sand too.

Decision taken? The tractor will be left there till the flood reduces.


If you have HBP or you are the type that cannot endure losses in ventures and will weep like Buhari does after losing elections, don’t come near farming! It’s not for the fainthearted. One keeps moving despite all odds!

We will certainly test you with a touch of fear and famine and loss of property, life, and crops. Give good news to those who patiently endure— Q2:155.

Kime writes from Damaturu, Yobe state

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