The Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, John Jonah, on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the non-payment of the state’s share of the N1.6 billion approved by the federak government for states ravaged by flood disaster.
Mr Jonah, a retired rear admiral, stated this when a delegation of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), led by Umar Mohammed paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
He said Bayelsa is yet to receive its share of the fund, which was approved during one of the National Economic Council meetings in Abuja after the 2012 flood incident that affected most states in the country.
According to him, if Bayelsa State had access to the fund, it would have assisted the state government in putting certain measures in place to mitigate the effects of the perennial flood.
The deputy governor also advocated the need to decentralise flood intervention efforts to the local government headquarters as well as construct structures to accommodate displaced persons, rather than build official quarters in an emergency situation, which he noted, was one of the recommendations of the state government’s committee on flood management.
The deputy governor, who bemoaned the 2012 flood, recalled the collaborative efforts of the state government, NEMA and military agencies and expressed the hope that the level of this year’s flood would not be as ravaging as that of the 2012.
Mr Jonah also stressed the need for the team to come up with a report that reflects the situation, particularly about the twin problems of flooding and erosion that have been devastating the state over the years.
Earlier, the team leader, Mr Muhammed, had said they were in Bayelsa to assess the level of preparedness of the state government in the impending flood.
Mr Mohammed also noted that they planned to take a tour of Bayelsa with the assistance of the officials of the State Emergency Management Agency to assess flood prone areas.