Pa Garba Tanka ,octogenarian victim of the flash flood that sacked five villages in Warawa local government area of Kano State, is alarmed about the poor condition at Tanka resettlement centre where he and several others are camped, saying “I’m dying a slow death here.”
Tanka said life at the resettlement centre was killing him fast and therefore called on the authorities to return him to his Laraban Gadon Sarki village.
He said that he left his village for the resettlement centre on Wednesday evening following early warning by the local government of the Kano River overflowing, stressing that he escaped with his family including his grand children. Sitting under a tree in the camp, a public school, Tanka, 80, painted a gory story of life at the camp.“From all indications, I’m stranded here. For two days running now, I have not eaten anything; no food, no water. The little assistance coming from local government officials is simply for the survival of the fittest, and it appears everyone is on his own “.
The old man, surrounded by eight grand children within ages 2 and 4, lamented that the relocation had suddenly exposed him to the other side of life, pointing at the little children and saying. “They are the only people that have shown faithfulness to me since we opened a new chapter in our lives in the last couple of days”.
Looking frail and tired, he said he could not walk, not to talk of queuing for food, adding:”My legs are swollen and I can not rely on them and that consigned me to this same spot over the last three days here”.
Asked on his readiness to be resettled outside the flood prone areas, Tanka said: “It can only happen over my dead body. Relocate to where? I have lived in my community for 80 years, and I’m experiencing this disaster for the second time in 12 years.
“Our ancestor have a reason for choosing this area as our abode, it has served us well and we have everything to be grateful to Almighty Allah for His blessing, and I see no reason why I should think of relocating because of a passing phenomenal”.
Officials of the council seemed fully aware of the old man’s plight but not prepared to dabble into what they described as a “carry over” problem, for, according to them, doctors assigned to the open camp confirmed that the man was suffering from anemia.
Ahmad Haruna Bichi, Director Personnel Management , Warawa local government council, said “it is practically impossible for anyone to develop anemia in one day”, adding that Pa Tanka’s case had existed long before the flash flood ravaged the hamlet.
The DPM revealed that “we are very conscious of the vulnerable group in the camp and we are certainly doing our best to ensure that they were given adequate attention in line with the rules guiding the open camp”.
Bichi further disclosed that the authorities of Hadejia /Jama’are River Basin Development Authority had put them on notice over the impending disaster, stressing that same message was conveyed to the people.
He explained that no fewer than five light boats were deployed to ferry those trapped inside the village, in addition to several local divers to guide those fleeing the villages on their own outside official arrangement.
He stated that over 10,000 people were displaced, unspecified numbers of livestock washed away, but was however quick to add that no life was lost.