Hundreds of graves in Nayinawa Tsallaka graveyard in Damaturu have been submerged by flood which has caused tension in the community as people express their worry.
Recall that the flood happened after heavy rainfall led to the collapse of the graveyard fence and routing ground water into the graves.
Shagari Mohammed Ibrahim, a resident of the area said the area had never witnessed such a situation in the last 10 years, when the fencing of the graveyard was completed.
He said the flood had destroyed houses and many of the graves were filled up.
“The situation is posing danger to the lives of residents. Our children are especially at risk because dangerous reptiles like snakes are often seen coming out from the graveyards”
Mallam Usman Garba, an Islamic scholar in the area, said he was worried at the number of graveyards that were affected.
“Graveyard is a final home for everyone, and seeing graves of our loved ones submerged in water is really frightening.
“For us in this community, it is the only one around, and we buried hundreds of corpses and still have spaces to accommodate more.”
Mallam Usman called for an urgent action by the local government council to save the situation, adding that the community had intervened but the situation had degenerated beyond their power.
A community leader in Nayinawa Tsallake, Bulama Adamu Ybc, said the fence collapsed a month ago as a result of heavy wind and rainfall.
He said that members of the community had tried their best to ameliorate the situation.
“At community level, you can see that our people are poor, generally finding it difficult to afford three square meals in a day. But despite our vulnerability, we took it as mandate among us to sacrifice every Saturday for graveyard services.
“We normally use sand brought by some good samaritans to cover the graves which were exposed by the flood.
“Our neighbouring communities and members of the Islamic First Aid Group also support us with grass clearing within the graveyard.
“Another challenge was that a part from ground water entering the graves, animals often veer into the graveyard, causing further damage.
“We are urging philanthropists, businessmen, individuals and particularly the state government to contribute with blocks, cement and other materials to help in the reconstruction of the fence.’’
When contacted, the Director of Personnel Management, who is the acting Chairman of Damaturu Local Government, Abubakar MB Disa, said he has compiled all the details of the damage and forwarded it to the ministry for local government and was awaiting their action.
However, a source at the ministry said although the request was approved there was no money to carry out the repairs.