• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Flood submerges 19 LGAs in Delta, displaces 60,000

Flood submerges 19 LGAs in Delta, displaces 60,000

Nineteen of the 25 local government areas of Delta State have been submerged by flood.

Over 60,000 residents from the affected areas have also been displaced; with goods and properties estimated at billions of naira destroyed, even as the flood continues to wreak havoc.

Charles Aniagwu, Delta State commissioner for information, disclosed this during a television programme monitored in Asaba, the state capital.

“This is not to say that the remaining six LGAs are free from the flood, but they are better off, Aniagwu explained.

He recalled that the state government through its bureau of orientation had earlier alerted residents on low plain areas of the imminent flooding.

The commissioner added that the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa immediately directed the setting up of camps and provision of food and relief materials to the flood victims.

He commended well-meaning Deltans for their support to the flood victims and called for more assistance.

“We have been able to set up 11 camps and we are still sending relief materials to individuals in some affected communities that are not in the camps.

“There are some communities that would not want to come to the camps because they see their communities as their ancestral homes. So we also try as much as possible to send relief materials to them even when they are not in camps.

“We are hoping that the members of these communities, individuals and the private sector would try and see how they can come to the aid of these persons in camp.

Read also: Rainfall, not Cameroon responsible for Nigeria’s floods – Minister

“The state government is doing a lot and what has helped us so far to mitigate casualties, is that we started our sensitisation on time. The State Bureau of Orientation has been very busy in the last three months, making it known to the people that this flood would come.

“So that helped some people to move away from flood-prone areas before the flooding; otherwise, it would have been worse than what it is now.

“We do hope that as we make progress, the Federal Government just like the governor said, in the course of his visit, will take steps to address this issue of flood, by seeing how Rivers Niger and Benue can be dredged.

“There is also the need to establish dams to help contain some of these waters whenever it is released, so that we do not continue to go through this perennial crisis of flooding of different communities,” he said.

On the total number of persons displaced by the flood, Aniagwu said it was difficult to estimate the figure because the majority of the victims were not in camps.

“You can’t easily put a number to those affected, because of communal spirit; some of them have moved to stay with their relatives.

“In the camp we have over 20,000 people as of a few days’ ago. The challenge is that more people keep moving in on a daily basis because the flood is yet to recede. You have more people trooping to the camps so the number has gone beyond 26,000 at the moment.

“Displaced persons are over 60,000, their farmlands have also been submerged and the state government has continued to provide electricity and other facilities in the camps to make them at least comfortable.