The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to ensure that it makes judicious use of the National Ecological Fund in the management of flood disasters in the country.
The governor was speaking in Benin, the Edo State Capital, when the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Sani Sidi, visited the State to ascertain the level of damage done by the flooding incidents in Etsako Central, Etsako East and Esan South-East Local Governments of the state.
Mr. Oshiomhole gave the assurance that the state government would collaborate with NEMA to provide a solution to the disaster that affected several communities, following the overflow of the River Niger as the water level continues to rise. He said the Federal Government ought to bear more responsibility over the flooding in various states
“We all appear completely helpless and the Federal Government ought to do more than they have done,” Mr. Oshiomhole said. “The situation calls for a far more drastic response. The real challenge is for the Federal Government and not the states.”
“We are doing whatever we can at the level of Edo State Government to provide materials, deploying doctors and nurses to check the medical needs. We need to act fast, because it is a national calamity,” the governor added.
The governor noted that there are long term implications as a result of the incident as farmlands have been destroyed, and domestic animals killed.
Commiserating with the government and people of Edo State on the losses, both in human and material resources incurred as a result of the flood, the NEMA boss expressed regrets that disaster occurrences and the number of people affected have risen significantly in recent years as a result of the impact of climate change, and increased human activities.
He said economic losses from disasters, both natural and man-made have escalated, pointing out that Nigeria is not immune to the negative impacts of these developments, with widespread flooding incidents in 23 states of the federation in 2010.
“This phenomenon got even more intense last year and so far, this year, it has become very alarming as all rivers in the country have overflowed their banks and a large number of communities and local governments from Lokoja in Kogi through Etsako West in Edo State down to Biase in Cross River State are all presently under water.
“We must be vigilant for more flood incidents, because the weather has become unpredictable, and extreme conditions like excessive rainfall, severe windstorm, heat waves and drought, have become more frequent with adverse effects on the economy, environment, agricultural production and food security of lives and livelihoods,” Mr. Sidi said