The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Saturday donated 27 different items as relief materials to flood victims in Benue and inspect affected areas.
The Director-General, NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, told journalists in Makurdi that he was in the state on presidential directives.
He said the directive was for the agency to quickly intervene into the Benue flood disaster and see how the victims would be assisted.
Mr. Maihaja used the opportunity to extend President Muhammadu Buhari’s heartfelt sympathy to the flood victims in Benue and assured them of the Federal Government determination.
He said the relief materials were food stuffs, household items and other building materials, adding that after the official assessment of the areas, the actual areas of assistance would be ascertained.
“May I extend the heartfelt sympathy of Mr President to the Government of Benue State and families and all those affected by the flood disaster.
“We are here on a mission from Mr President to visit the flood affected areas and ascertain the level of damage caused by the disaster to enable us assist the victims in every way possible.
“We brought 27 different relief materials to deliver to the state for onward distribution to the affected victims,” he said.
He said the materials were pre-emergency response materials, adding that three trucks were on ground while five were still on the way.
The D-G explained that the quantum of destruction could not be ascertained at the moment, adding that his team would be on ground to carry out the data to determine exact quantity.
Mr. Maihaja said the agency had not received any official communication from the Cameroonian government on the possibility of opening Lagdo Dam that caused the 2012 flood.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the items delivered to the state are rice, children clothes, building materials, foodstuffs and other household items.
NAN reports that the D-G, while in the state visited the IDPs camp at International Market Makurdi and flood affected areas like Radio Benue, Idye village, Welfare Quarters, Guma, Achusa among others.
Speaking to journalists, the State Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Joseph Utsev admitted that though they were expecting some element of flood this year, not of this magnitude.
Mr. Utsev said that Makurdi Township lacked drainages that would control the run water into River Benue, adding that River Benue needed to be dredged to avoid a repetition of the 2012 disaster.
He said that property worth billions of naira were so far destroyed among which were households, farmlands and businesses.
The commissioner further appealed to the Federal Government to assist the state with funds for the construction of drainages and dredging of River Benue.
He said that no life was lost since the beginning of the disaster this year. (NAN)