Government has failed in managing flood victims- LEDAP

The NGO says long-term aid should include funds and material resources towards rebuilding the lives of victims after the flood.

A legal rights group has decried the Nigerian government’s attitude to flood victims in Kogi, Edo, Benue, Nassarawa, Plateau, Bayelsa and the nation’s capital Abuja.

The group, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) said the government had failed to provide adequate emergency relief to millions of Nigerians displaced by flood in the areas.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, the group said many homes are submerged in water while many people “have died and several thousand injured or under intense threat of imminent epidemic.”

“Despite this huge disaster, the federal government and most state governments have not sufficiently responded or provided the much need relief to victims, especially vulnerable women and children,” the group said.

LEDAP further condemned the officials’ nonchalance, saying only a few governors had identified with the victims.

“Federal officials who have the primary responsibility to manage such emergencies, are not concerned. LEDAP notes that despite several billions of Naira allocated and purportedly spent in the ecological sector, not much has been done to manage very obvious flooding even after the government meteorologists earlier in the year warned that there would be increased flooding of river banks during this raining season.”

“There is no evidence that the money earmarked for flood control has been properly utilised. In every part of the country there is one ecological problem or another: from erosions in the south east to flooding in the south west and north central to desertification in the north east and north west,” said LEDAP’s National coordinator Mr. Chino Obiagwu.

The group called on the National Assembly to enforce the proper utilisation of ecological funds and associated budgetary allocations towards controlling future disaster.

LEDAP also tasked state and federal governments to better equip agencies like National Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross that will enable them provide adequate emergency relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims.

“Government should urgently embark on massive clean-up of affected communities and put in place health care measures to ensure the there is little or no outbreak of diseases among the displaced communities,” the group said.

Amongst its other suggestions, the group said long-term rehabilitation of the victims after the flood should include financial and material support for rebuilding their homes and recovering their farmlands.

“The victims are Nigerians citizens and deserve to be adequately protected by government,” the statement concluded.

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