Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Flood: Two dead, thousands displaced in Delta

Published:

Flooded Sagbama community in Bayelsa state Photo: NAN

The governor of the oil rich state says the state cannot address the floods alone.

 

The floods that have ravaged communities in Delta State have killed two people and displaced a hundred thousand others, the Delta State Governor, Emanuel Uduaghan, said on Monday in Asaba, the state capital.

Mr. Uduaghan said the scope of the damage is far beyond the capacity of the state, and appealed to the Federal Government to come to the aid of the state.

He also called on the private sector, philanthropists, non-governmental organizations, and Nigerians to come to the aid of the state.

According to him, the situation is ’grave and grim’ with no fewer than 100 communities in about 10 Local Government areas in the state affected by the flood.

The local government areas affected by the flood include Patani, Isoko South, Isoko North, Ndokwa East, Bomadi, Burutu, Oshimili North and South, as well as Ughelli North and Ughelli South.

He explained that the River Niger over flowed its banks, covering an average distance of between 6 and 10 km in the affected communities, adding that the tide was increasing by the day.

The governor also said that within a period of three days, the number of communities affected had increased and there was the fear of total flooding of the communities.

He described the situation as devastating and a huge challenge, adding that most of the rehabilitation camps are stretched.

He further said that mattresses, food items, and medical treatment had been arranged for the victims.

He charged the committee on flood headed by the state’s Deputy Governor, Amos Utuama, to be transparent in their dealings and ensure that no item meant for the victims were diverted.

Mr. Uduaghan also charged the committee to set up sub-committees in the local government areas, and involve residents of the affected communities in the distribution of relief materials and movement of victims.

He then appealed to those in the flood prone zones not to wait until they were in danger before relocating.

“The river is surging into communities on a daily basis and increasing in tempo, let everyone in the flood prone areas come out before it is too late because a stitch in time saves nine,’’ he said.

Mr. Utuama has earlier told the governor that it is becoming increasingly difficult to access some of the affected communities.

He said that the committee had gone round to take physical count of communities affected in the state and assured the victims of government’s determination to secure their lives and property.

The deputy governor also said that the rehabilitation camps are well secured, and commended some organisations, particularly the Red Cross, for their support.

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