The Bayelsa State Government on Sunday directed immediate closure of schools to avoid loss of lives in the flood currently ravaging the state.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said in a statement that the decision to close the schools was reached at the State Executive Council meeting on Friday.
Mr Iworiso-Markson said the meeting, chaired by Governor Seriake Dickson, also set up a committee to facilitate prompt and effective response to the flood emergency in the state.
“The State Executive Council has directed immediate closure of all schools to avoid loss of lives. the government is taking measures to secure lives and property; the good people of Bayelsa should not panic,” he said.
He said the council had also directed the Ministry of Health to set up an Emergency Health Response Unit to mitigate the effect of the disaster on the people.
The commissioner said the unit would monitor and prevent outbreak of diseases such as cholera during the period covered by the flood.
He said NEMA’s coordinator in the state had briefed the council on the situation, adding the agency had commenced distribution of the materials to affected communities on Saturday.
The commissioner advised residents of the state not to panic as government had taken measures to secure lives and property in the state.
He said many communities in the local government areas, especially in Ekeremor, Sagbama, Ogbia and Southern Ijaw local government areas were affected.
The state governor on Wednesday approved of N50 million for the procurement of relief materials for the victims.
Also the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had in a news conference said more than 150,000 people have been displaced by the flood following rising water levels.
Yakubu Suleiman, Coordinator at NEMA’s Rivers/Bayelsa territory, told newsmen in Yenagoa, that the agency arrived at the figure after evaluation of the disaster across eight local government areas.