…. distributes relief materials worth N3.5m
By Gabriel Ewepu
KWALE- AS flood continues to ravage communities across the country, an international humanitarian organisation, ActionAid Nigeria, have alleviated the sufferings of over 1,000 women and children affected by flood in Ndokwa East and Ndokwa West local government areas of Delta State.
The organisation, touched by the sufferings of the victims, swung into action to assist the Delta State Emergency Management Agency, DSEMA, and the local government councils hit by the rampaging flood that has submerged plantain plantations, cocoa, yam, cassava, cocoyam and potato farms including houses, schools, healthcare facilities, a major plantain market, shops, roads, bridges, and other structures worth billions of naira in the two local government areas.
It was also learnt that the Governor of the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, and his team visited the victims at the two Internally Displaced Persons,’ IDP, camps located at Ashaka town in Ndokwa East LGA, and Technical College, Utagba-Ogbe, Kwale in Ndokwa West LGA.
According to the victims, many people are stranded in their communities due to high water transportation fare as at the time this report was filed. They said when there was no flood the speed boat operators used to charge N500 from a community called Abuator to Ashaka in Ndokwa East LGA, but now with the flood, speed boat operators charge N1,500, which may further increase.
According to DSEMA officials at the two IDP camps, communities submerged by the flood include Ashaka, Iyedeami, Utuekwu, Onya, Abor, Akarai, Abala, Azagba, Abuator, Beneku, Okpai-Obeze, Umuolu, and many others.
The Logistics Adviser, ActionAid, Goodluck Omoh, said the mission of ActionAid to the affected LGAs in that part of Delta State was borne out of its mandate as an international humanitarian organisation committed to the plight of people caught in the web of natural disasters, thereby giving them renewed hope and support.
According to Omoh, 130 items of the entire consignment distributed to 125 households at the Kwale IDP camp, while 20 items of the entire consignment would be distributed to 33 households at the Ashaka IDP camp, the balance of 102 items were reserved for three excluded communities on the Island, LRP community.
Items include 200 bags of rice bagged in 12.5kgs, 260 cartons of noodles, 25 cartons of one litre of groundnut oil, and 200 bags of garri packed in 12.5kgs.
He said: “ActionAid is a humanitarian organisation, which has been working since 2008 in remote parts of Delta State, working with the communities to add value to their lives. We have built hospitals, schools, bridges and we will continue to do more in the future.
“We save lives as it is our top priority. Some of the communities we work in have been submerged by flood and we looked at what could be done to assist them, and we responded to the emergency in less than 24 hours.
“We were worried when we heard that these communities were devastated by the flood and deemed it fit to run to the people affected with some relief materials to ameliorate their plight.
“Today as you can see, we are presenting 200 bags of rice bagged in 12.5kgs, 260 cartons of noodles, 200 cartons of one litre groundnut oil, 200 bags of garri packed in 12.5kgs. The total money spent is N3.5 million on the purchase and logistics of the items. Out of the N3.5 million, N2 million was spent on the food items, while N1.5 million was spent on logistics.”
Also speaking in the same vein, one of the partners of ActionAid Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Environmental and Rural Mediation Centre, ENVIRUMEDIC, based in Warri, Delta State, Chief Monday Itoghor, said the coming of ActionAid Nigeria with the relief materials was a big relief to consolidate on what the state and local governments were doing to give support and comfort to women and children including one month old infants affected by the flood.
Itoghor said: “We have been partners with ActionAid Nigeria on various areas including Living Right Programme, LRP, Public Financing in Agriculture, PFA, and Emergencies.
“About two weeks ago, there was flooding across the state, and ActionAid Nigeria is working in some of the flood-affected communities in Ndokwa-East Local Government, including Abuator, Obekwe, Osisa and others. This LGA is worst hit in Delta State.
“When we reported to ActionAid Nigeria, they responded.” According to him, the sharing formula of the relief materials to the IDPs will be based on the IDP camp policy.
“We have identified 30 households in Ashaka IDP camp and 128 households in Kwale IDP camp. A household is made up of six family members. So we are majorly concentrating on women and children whose number in the two camps stands at about 1,500. With their number tags issued to them after registration, the relief materials will be distributed equitably and satisfactorily.”
Secretary to Ndokwa East Local Government, Cynthia Oputa, said: “This place is now an IDP camp, this place is a safe haven for our people and the camp is about two weeks old, we have over 280 people here in this camp. We have been receiving assistance from the state and local governments.
“We have food here for them and they are fed three times a day by our cooks here. Also, the camp has a health care facility that caters for the health needs of the people.
The DSEMA representative at Ashaka IDP camp, Sylvester Eghelebor, said the state government has provided speed boats to evacuate the affected people in the various communities submerged by the flood to the IDP camps provided for them.
“We are making frantic effort to evacuate people from the affected communities to the IDP camps as government has provided speed boats to evacuate them, but some are reluctant to leave their communities because of their farm produce.
The Governor has instructed that everybody should be evacuated from their communities to avoid any form of danger as far as this flood is concerned. They are also taken to other camps set up by the state government.”
On the available materials received so far, he (Eghelebor) said majorly food is needed to take care of the increasing number of women, children and men in the Ashaka IDP camp as the volume of food is not enough, although he said the Ndokwa East LGA chairman has been supplying food to the camp consistently. He also added that there was no constant power supply in the camp, so they operate power generating sets to illuminate the place, as they receive supply of sachet water in the camp.
Speaking on the state of healthcare delivery services in the Ashaka IDP camp, one of the doctors, Dr Adeyemi Aderibigbe, said the medical team from the local government area has been doing their best to meet the health needs of the IDPs.
“For some people, it is an opportunity to access healthcare. The people are excited to have such healthcare facility in place in this camp. Within the available resources, we have been doing our best. The number of patients treated here keeps increasing because people know we are here.
“On the part of government, they responded very well. However, there are still some challenges which include restocking of our drugs, admission of patients has become a problem, and the ongoing nationwide strike has really taken its toll on us as we refer some of the IDPs to the government hospitals.
“We need manpower here in the clinic. We have not recorded any death and delivery so far. We also educate the people here on disease prevention measures, the premises also has been fumigated.”