Superstitious beliefs and ancestral affections are posing a setback to efforts at relocating people in flood-prone areas to safer zones in Bauchi state.
Alhaji Inuwa Bello, Chairman, Bauchi State Humanitarian Services Coordination Team, Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), stated this on Friday.
He said the state government had provided victims of past flood disasters with alternative places but they had remained in the danger areas, erecting new structures.
“Victims of the flood, especially the 2012 and 2013 disasters, were allocated alternative lands in safer places but they have refused to relocate.
“The victims are spread across the 20 local government areas of the state but most of those affected are in sloppy areas located close to river banks.
“Most of them attributed their reluctance to relocate to the strong affection they have for their ancestral lands.
“They also believe that their land provides higher crops yields, as well as some spiritual healings that cannot be obtained in the alternative place,” he said.
Bello said even the intervention of one of the First Class traditional rulers in the state did not make them change their mind.
According to him, the state is yet to record any flood disaster this year but added that based on NIMET predictions, there may likely be flooding in the state.
The chairman stated that SEMA had commenced enlightenment campaigns and equally placed jingles in radio stations.
He said traditional and religious leaders had also been urged to intervene in educating the people on the risk of staying in flood-prone areas.
Source:: PM Newspaper