By Emma Amaize, Austin Ogwuda & Fetus Ahon
Uduaghan deploys top govt officials on rescue mission
DELTA State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, yesterday, directed all top government functionaries in the state from flood ravaged communities “to immediately relocate to their communities and assist in evacuation and providing relief assistance to the people.”
Uduaghan, who gave the order in a statewide broadcast, said that as part of the initial steps to give relief to the people, government will set up temporary camps in some local government areas in the state.
The state government also promised build camps for the no fewer than 6,000 residents of Abari, Torou-Angiama and Asaba-Ase, in Patani and Ndokwa-East Local Government Areas of the state respectively, who were displaced by the ravaging flood occasioned by the overflow of the River Niger.
Most communities in the state affected by the ravaging flood had been cut off from the rest of the state following the flooding of the access roads that links them to the outside world.
Uduaghan said: “In the last few days, Delta State like some other states across the country had witnessed heavy damage to our communities, where lives and property had been lost. In our state, it has been tales of woe for our people. Lives have been lost. Property and farmlands submerged. Roads and bridges washed away. The situation has been desperate for our people.
“I am aware of instances, where people rendered homeless climbed trees to survive. People have had to adopt different strategies to stay alive. In some of our effected communities, the situation was so bad that we had to send the Navy to mount a rescue operation. I salute the courage of those who survived in the teeth of this great danger. I condole on behalf of the government those who lost their loved ones. As the news of the disaster reached me, I took steps to set up an emergency committee headed by the deputy governor to coordinate actions in providing relief and support for our people as well as assess the extent of damage.”
Meanwhile, the state’s deputy governor, Prof. Amos Utuama, SAN, who is chairman of the State Special Emergency Committee on Flood Disaster Management and members of his committee could only access Abari, Torou-Agiama and Asaba-Ase by water through Patani.
Fielding questions from newsmen after the committee’s visit to the three affected communities, Utuama decried that most residential buildings had been submerged and washed away by the flood.
More families displaced in Bayelsa, gov’s home affected
THE flood situation in Bayelsa State, assumed crisis dimension, yesterday, with several communities in Sagbama Local Government Area, including the home town of Governor Seriake Dickson, submerged. No fewer than 700 families, six public schools and several farmlands in the council had been sacked by the surging flood.
Those whose homes were sacked by the flood included two prominent traditional rulers in Sagbama council, Ekadi Aziza and the Ebidaowei of Kabowei Kingdom, Hope Torruo.
The state government delegation made up of the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Sylvanus Abila; the special representative of the governor in Sagbama, Prince Collins Cocordia; the council chairman and others, who visited the area confirmed to newsmen that the situation was getting worse and people moving out to upland.
It was gathered from the delegation, that the flood situation had rendered scores homeless in Elemebiri, Adagbabiri, Trofani, Ekperiware, Tungbo, Ebetebiri and the governor’s home community of Toru-Orua.
Contacted on the development, Prince Corcodia, said though the state government had moved into the affected areas with relief materials and others, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, should come to the aid of the people in the state.
104 lives lost to flood in north central zone
ABOUT 104 lives have been lost and more than 50,000 people displaced by the ravaging flood in the north central area of the country in the last two months, the Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for the zone, Mr. Mohammed Abdulsalam has said.
He said at a workshop on “Awareness, Preparedness and Response to Emergencies At Local Levels” holding in the Plateau State capital that the lack of proper coordination of emergency response to the disaster had compounded the problem.
Abdulsalam said: “Lack of collaboration and cooperation and weak coordination is the bane of disaster management in Nigeria. Diverse stakeholders operate in isolation with neither collaboration nor co-ordination. This often leads to inefficiency in the use of scarce resources, overlapping of activities, duplication of action and general confusion”.
While describing the flood that has so far affected about 150,000 people in the zone as unfortunate, he noted that it has overwhelmed states and local governments in terms of emergency management.
He said the Federal Government through NEMA has so far spent more than N300 million on relief materials and medicaments, among others, to ease the pain of the victims who are mostly women and children, adding that the flooding problem which has affected 26 states in the country was worsened by the release of water from various dams and the blockage of drainage system in many places.