By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka—VICTIMS of this year’s flood disaster in five local government areas of Anambra State have received relief materials worth millions of naira from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The South East zonal coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Wilson Brandon, who flagged off the distribution of the materials at the Anambra State headquarters of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, in Awka said the affected local governments were Ayamelum, Anambra East Anambra West, Awka North and Ogbaru.
The relief materials included food items such as bags of rice, beans and garri, non food items, such as pieces of blankets, foam mattresses and mosquito nets, in addition to building materials, which include bags of cements, bundles of roofing sheets and ceiling boards, among others.
According to him, the federal government stepped in to alleviate the suffering of the victims, explaining that the relief materials were mere palliatives which could, in no way, be equated with the huge losses suffered by the victims.
He implored the people to always take proactive preventive measures to mitigate adverse effects of natural disasters in future.
He said: “The devastation caused by the flooding in the various communities in Anambra State was brought to the attention of NEMA through media reports and the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency.
“Consequently, a joint assessment team of NEMA in the South East Zone and Anambra, SEMA visited the affected communities and conducted on-the-spot assessment to ascertain the extent of damage to lives/property.
“The assessment conducted revealed that several houses, economic trees, farmlands and agricultural produce worth millions of naira were destroyed, leading to the displacement of residents and dislocation of means of their livelihood.
“Regrettably, the affected persons do not have the capacity to rebuild their houses or restart their businesses, which made the NEMA officials to report the incident to the NEMA Director General; Mr. Maihaja Mustapha, who transmitted same to the Federal Government.
“The response of the Federal Government on the plight of the disaster victims has been quite prompt and encouraging. To this end, Director-General of NEMA graciously approved the issuance of relief items which is why we have brought all these materials to the state. The relief materials are not replacement of things lost during the devastating flood, but to cushion the effect of the unfortunate incident.”
He charged officials of SEMA and the leadership of the various town unions to ensure equitable distribution of the materials to the affected persons and families.