By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
KOGI State government says it is beginning to concern itself with stopping outbreak of epidemics in the nine relief camps due to the devastating effects of the flooding that has persisted nearly two weeks in the State.
The deputy governor who is also the chairman, State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, told journalists in his office, yesterday, “we are aware of the possibilities of an outbreak of epidemics in these camps and government is worried about it”.
He said the state government set up the makeshift camps in schools in Lokoja and Idah to cater for about 12, 000 displaced persons, adding that the state ministry of health has been empowered to actively prevent the outbreak of epidemic, added that the state is acquiring mobile toilets to distribute around the camps as measures to keep the camp clean.
He hinted that the state government was already considering some post-flooding effects of devastation caused by the release of water from dams along rivers Niger and Benue, which brought about surge in the water levels of the rivers.
Oshiomhole asks FG to act fast
AGAINST the back drop of the natural flood disasters in some parts of the country, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to act fast by making judicious use of the National Ecological Fund in the management of flood disasters in the country.
The governor said while receiving the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Alhaji Sani Sidi, who was in the state to ascertain the level of damage done by the flooding incidents in Etsako Central, Etsako East and Esan South East Local Government Areas, said the state government will collaborate with NEMA to provide a solution.
He said: “The situation in the flooded communities occasioned by the overflow of the River Niger is getting worse because more communities are being affected and the water level is rising. We all appear completely helpless and the Federal Government ought to do more than they have done. The situation calls for a far more drastic response.”
Oshiomhole insisted that the real challenge was for the Federal Government and not the states.
He said, “we are doing whatever we can at the level of Edo State Government to provide materials, deploying doctors and nurses to check the medical needs. We need to act fast because it is a national calamity.”
The governor noted that there were long terms implications as farm lands had been destroyed, domestic animals killed.
Hoodlums loot, vandalize homes vacated by flood victims
WOES of victims of the Makurdi flood disaster were compounded, yesterday, as hoodlums looted and vandalized the houses they vacated as a result of the flood.
The houses ransacked and looted by the rogues included those located on Gyado Villa, Judges Quarters Annexe and some before the Benue State University Teaching Hospital. Owners of the looted property who lamented their predicament, said those behind the wicked act were inhuman and insensitive to their plight.
Joseph Ikor, whose partially submerged house located at Gyado Villa area of the town, told Vanguard: “Some of us vacated our houses because we didn’t want to be taken unawares like some of the victims who lost everything to the flood.
“But to our surprise, we came to see if the water is rescinding only to discover that fans, widows, doors, air conditioners and some other materials have been removed from our houses by unknown persons.
“It is just unfortunate and saddening, we thought people should be sympathizing with us rather than adding to our pains and sorrow.”
Also lamenting, Joseph Usher who disclosed that vandals removed roofing sheets from his submerged houses at the Judges’s Quarters annexe area of the town, noted that those behind the looting of their houses were adding to the pains of the flood victims, advising that security agents should intensify patrols around Makurdi town.
Reacting to the unfortunate development, the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Public Utilities, Mr. Gadaffi Asemanya, who decried the looting, told Vanguard that men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, had offered to provide security for all the empty houses.
Asemanya who inspected some of the looted houses assured of increased security surveillance of the affected areas to stem the ugly development.
Move out from flood prone areas—NEMA
SOME communities in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State should do well to listen to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, which has urged them to move immediately to higher grounds in neighbouring councils and Anambra State due to the increase rise of water level. This is even as rescuers have continued to evacuate displaced people from rooftops and trees.
The Agency’s Director General, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, issued the warning, Wednesday, after presenting additional relief materials to victims of flood in Kogi State.
Sani-Sidi said: “It is now necessary to call on people living in Ibaji to either move to Idah Local Government Council of the state or to closer communities in Anambra State.”
The director general who presented the relief materials to Governor Idris Wada for onward distribution to the affected victims said NEMA is using big boats and recruit the service of local canoe owners for the evacuation exercise. The NEMA boss added that the agency is working with the Nigerian Red Cross Society to explore further assistance for the affected persons.
He said: “This necessitated a request for the deployment of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society’s global tool: Field Assessment and Coordination Team. A three-man team has already been mobilized by the Geneva headquarters and the team is expected shortly in Nigeria for the possible assistance to the victims of the floods.”
Governor Wada who was also flown by NEMA team in a rescue helicopter for aerial survey/view of the scenes of the flood stated emotionally that: “The situation is not only devastating but alarming by the magnitude of damages to the communities as we had just seen from the air.”
While commending the promptness and expertise of the NEMA team in the rescue efforts and relief distribution urged further supports and assistance by relevant bodies to the state.
Meanwhile more teams from NEMA regional offices are moving to some South-Eastern states where massive flooding is being experience, especially in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra and Oguta and ohaaiji-egbema Local Government Councils of Imo State.
Prior to this time NEMA assessment team had visited Ekwusigo, Anambra East and Anambra West Councils of Anambra State. Also inspected are Ikwo Izzi, Afikpo North, Ohozra, Onicha, Ivo Local government of Ebonyi. The team had also visited Udi and Uzo Umani Local governments.
Most of the affected states had received prior flood alerts and early warnings from NEMA and NIMET.