As Abdulaziz Shafiu, a 300-level student of Agricultural Science and resident of Torabora, tried to pass through the road that leads to the Faculty of Law from his hostel, he looked beyond the dry land he was standing on and saw a field of waterlogged swamp.
How has this place turned soggy, he thought as he took off his shoes and pulled up his trouser to avoid the dirt staining his body, and drifted past the area.
“Going to my Faculty [Agricultural science] used to be stress-free, it would only take me like 20 minutes,” he said. “But now due to the water and the inconvenience, I spend almost 30 minutes on the road.”
Though the rain has stopped falling in Sokoto for the past four months, students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University continue to feel the impacts of the heavy downpour of the last rainy season. A semi-busy road has stored water and turned swampy, creating difficulty for users.
Shafiu is one of many students who now struggle every time they pass through the area.
Muftaudeen Ibrahim, a 300-level student from the MELL department, had received an invitation to write a federal government scholarship examination and had travelled over 800 kilometres to Sokoto for the same purpose. This also made him resume early before official school resumption.
On 13 October, Ibrahim together with his friend intended to get food from students’ choice in the school mini market. However, on their way to the cafeteria, he and his friend could not believe their eyes, seeing their regular route now waterlogged.
As the duo struggled to get across the soggy region, dirty water splashed all over Ibrahim’s body and soiled the only pair of clothes he had brought. While struggling to avoid the dirt, he wondered how the dried land he left seven months earlier had become full of water.
“I attributed the cause to the rainy season. I think the school management should look for a way of helping,” he said.
“The waterlogged sector of the place is on the road which can easily affect the movement of those passing through the place, it can get clothes stained with mud as I have been a victim. While reptiles can hunt on students or other road users.”
Like Ibrahim, students who resumed school a few weeks after his arrival suffered the same fate.
“The change is something new to us, we have never seen it before,” complained Mustaqeem, a 400-level student of Agricultural science. To avoid his clothes being stained, he said he now follows another route to his destination — which is smooth but farther than his regular route.
“We now follow the passageway by the Electric car charging station which is farther away,” he lamented.
According to World Weather Attribution, climate change has rendered the seasonal rainfall more intense than normal, leaving gory impacts for most vulnerable areas.
In Nigeria last year, more than 603 people were reportedly killed and 1.4 million displaced due to intense flooding exacerbated by the heavy downpour. This incident was reported to be the worst since 2012.
Soggy Areas; Students’ Headache
Due to its proximity to places like the Torabora area, Gidan Sule, and Fatima lodge among others, residents from these areas end up taking longer routes before reaching their destinations. These days, Ramadan (not real name) said he frequently arrives late to lectures.
“It’s really unfortunate that I miss classes these days,” he bemoaned. “Sometimes I would arrive at the school late due to the farther road, and if the lecturer is already in the class, I risk being sent out for being late.”
For missing classes, Ramadan risks losing attendance of which at least 75 percent is required to write an exam.
Farm Suffers, Students struggle
As a result of the swampy road, some students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University now follow through a farm behind the publishing centre, particularly on Fridays, instead of going through the water, this has affected the farm. The farmer finally resorted to gardening his farm and abandoned the affected area.
Abdullahi Rufai, the owner of the farm said the water does not affect him directly but the students’ movement on his farm affects his crops.
“I am good with it, in fact, it is an opportunity to do rice farming, however, the blockage on the road has led students to be walking through my farm which almost affected its growth. However, now that I have surrounded my farm with a garden, I’m good with it.”
‘The Contractor working on UDUS Senate building repaired one of the waterlogged areas’— SUG spokesman
Speaking on the development, Comrade Ibrahim A Khalifa, spokesperson, UDUS Students Union (SU) said that the Union would look into it and revealed how one of the areas along Fodio’s road was repaired by MG K–GLOBAL SERVICE, the company working on the new Senate building.
“We will meet the contractor on how to repair that of the publishing centre also”, he stated.
Meanwhile, in an interview with newsmen, a staff of MG K–GLOBAL SERVICE, Mr Kabir Garba recounted that Engineer Shehu Usman Dantudu, the Managing Director of the company repaired one the road to Jum’ah mosque in order to make movements easier for the Worshippers and the pedestrians.
“We originally set up blocks on one of the affected areas for passing but when we realized that it was not enough, we decided to do the passage.”, he said.
By Hussain Wahab
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