“Our town is chiefly known for the production of dry crops such as Guinea Corn, Onion, Rice, tomatoe and pepper, and I will like to add that we can produce as much rice that can feed the whole Nigeria” said Alhaji Mohammed Sambo Usman [Sarkin Gabas of Goronyo
] as he welcomed us to his palace after a 100 km hitchhike from the Sokoto Metropolis on January 22, 2014.
Alhaji Mohammed affirmed that some villages within the town have been witnessing several flooding in the past years, always caused by the rise in water level of the Goronyo Dam. Villages that are mostly affected include Keta Village and Taloka Village, all about 20km from the Goronyo town where the palace is situated. Unlike Gutsura in Zamfara state, Taloka has been permanently and completely relocated to a new government – built facility for communities displaced by floods.
|Mobile Geo-tagging of flood plains within Keta Village
Consequently, the team decided to work at Keta Village, situated just behind the Goronyo Dam. We sited a new health centre, as we proceeded to the village head compound. Alhaji Garbi Jingi explained how they have been coping with incessant flooding for 5 years. “We need the urgent construction of an elaborate embankment that will protect the village from loss of their crops and farming activities to flooding.
|Conducting a group discussion with key community members
The #WalktoMali team engaged the community members in a participatory mapping, while sharing ideas and local communication that can ensue before, during and after emergencies such as flooding. The only primary school within Keta was established in 1979, with the old block of one classroom dilapidated, a new block of 3 classrooms has been constructed.
|During the participatory mapping
“We always lose millions of our farming produce to flooding during the last 3 years, and 3 people have lost their lives (2 women and a child) in the various disasters. As Keta village remains vulnerable to another flood, it is pertinent for concerned organizations to help strengthen this community by building a 5km long embankment, to prevent future disaster.