The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) may have begun actualisation of one of the three key intervention scheme in response to flood disasters in the oil region. The three schemes are immediate, medium term and long term.
The immediate is distribution of relief materials to those who were displaced. The next is plan to build camp sites to house displaced persons. The third is a damn to be built in partnership with others to put final stop to the annual or regular flood disasters. The dams would create power supply and other benefits.
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Now, distribution of about 47 items has begun in Port Harcourt to eight most affected local council areas.
The Commission had given hope to the victims at different events. In one instance, the managing director, Sam Ogbuku, assured the elders that the Commission was already taking measures to mitigate the effects of flood in the region, stating: “We will build camp sites in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states as a temporary measure while a dam would be the permanent solution.”
For the immediate, the Commission started distribution of relief materials to flood victims in the targeted eight local council areas in Rivers State that were affected by flood in 2023.
The relief materials were seen at the Port Harcourt Club in Old GRA on January 26, 2024, loaded in 24 trucks containing about 47 different household and edible items.
The event to mark the start of distribution was attended by the chairmen of the eight LGAs that were affected by the flood, including, Ahoada East, Ahoada West, Abua-Odual, Andoni, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Asari Tolu, Tai, and Gokana, as well as traditional rulers, community development committees (CDCs), youth bodies, and stakeholders in Rivers.
The Rivers State Representative on the NDDC Board, Tony Okocha, who coordinated the distribution of the materials, said the Commission carried out the programme to alleviate the suffering of the flood victims in Rivers State.
Okocha had made it clear earlier in late December 2023 that human capital development and humanitarian matters would henceforth receive attention in the state under him. He said infrastructure was good but human misery can cause disruption in delivery of government’s well intended projects. “If everybody dies, who will use the roads?”, he one asked.
Okocha who on Friday, January 26, 2024, spoke on behalf of the Commission reassured the people of the state. He said: “Gone are the days when NDDC was seen as a cash cow. The caliber of reputable seasoned administrators that constitute this present NDDC Board, beginning with the Board Chairman, Barr. Chiedu Ebie, the performing MD, Samuel Ogbuku, and other members of the Board, will make a visible difference”.
He appreciated the NDDC Board, through the Chairman of Governing Board and the Managing Director/CEO, for the donation of palliatives and relief materials to victims of flood and its devastations in Rivers.
Earlier in his address, the Director NDDC, Rivers State Office, Theophilus Allagoa, explained that the Commission decided to start the distribution of the palliative materials to the worst hit LGAs in Rivers state.
He said that the NDDC had about 47 items in the list to distribute to the impacted communities with three trucks each, urging representatives of the affected communities to ensure that the items got to the people of the communities.
He also urged the communities to report to NDDC if the materials did not get to them. He warned that if the materials were not distributed to the various communities, the representatives of those communities would be accountable for that.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Ahoada West LGA chairman, Hope Ikiriko, thanked President Bola Tinubu and the NDDC board for the succour given to the affected victims.
It was observed that the items distributed were cartons of tinned tomatoes, mattresses, treated mosquito nets, sanitary pads, cartons of bathing soap, blankets, cartons of slippers, disinfectants, detergents and beverages.
Other items include, drinking cups, fishing net, rain boots, chemicals for farmers, touch lights, cassava grinding machine, canoes and paddle, shovels, wheelbarrows, basins, wrapper, lantern, kitchen utensils, chemicals for farmers, farming tools, among others.