By Inusa Ndahi, Maiduguri

It was a black Wednesday for the people of Azare, Fuma, Ghuma, Hizhi and Yimirshika villages of Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State, as a midnight rainstorm rendered thousands homeless.

Reports from Azare the local government headquarters indicate that, no life was lost, except a few injuries, but the heavy downpour, associated with strong windstorm, led to the collapse of many structures in several villages and towns.

The Transition Committee Chairman if the local government, Inuwa Bwala, who cut short his journey to Maiduguri for a workshop, told newsmen that the damages could not be immediately quantified, but a committee is working out the details.

He disclosed that government structures and facilities were also not spared, as the perimeter fences of the local government secretariat and the Government Lodge, including the roofs of ongoing projects and the council chambers of the local government were also blown off.

Mr Bwala said that although they have experienced rainstorms in the past, the magnitude of the early dawn disaster was greater and completely beyond the capacity of the local government to handle.

He said, “We have introduced remedial measures to cushion the effects of the disaster by providing some palliatives, but we shall approach the state government through the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, and the Ministry of Local Government and Emirate Affairs, with the hope that our people could be assisted and some of the structures rehabilitated.”

He added that on the part of the local government alone, the damages is in hundreds of millions of naira, just as that of private citizens is being estimated.

The chairman explained that from what he saw during the preliminary tour of the areas, there were first, second and third degree damages to property, but the local government secretariat suffered the worst damages.

He said that he is at loss as to where he should start from, even as he directed that works on the central store, which roof was blown off, should continue before the council comes up with a holistic reconstruction plan.

Already, some households that suffered minimal damages have commenced the repairs of their roofs, through personal efforts, while the council has rolled out some financial assistance to those who have been completely displaced.

As at the time of filling this report, the Transition Council Chairman, Bwala, was said to have rushed down to Maiduguri to lodge formal report on the development to the state government.


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