By: Mercy Enoch
Delta State Government says it has taken some strategic steps to mitigate against perennial flooding and avert loss of lives and property in the event of flooding, especially as Cameroon authorities release water from Lagdo Dam to River Benue and River Niger.
We have started opening up all blocked drainages, clearing our waterways and canals, removing illegal structures on our waterways amongst other things, revealed Festus Ahon, the chief press secretary (CPS) to Sheriff Oborevwori, the state governor.
Speaking to BusinessDay in Asaba, on Thursday, Ahon said that apart from the above efforts made, the state has also set up a 14-man flood disaster management committee ahead of the impending flood.
In the event that there is a flood and people are sacked from their homes, we are also setting up Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDPs), Ahon added.
He also called on the federal government to give a permanent solution to the issue of flooding by building more dams that would accommodate water from Cameroon whenever they open their dams.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ahon had called on residents in low-land and flood-prone areas to relocate to higher planes in view of the impending flood.
According to him, the state government was concerned about the lives and property of citizens living in flood-prone areas in the face of earlier warnings from the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency, (NIHSA).
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“The state governor has approved the setting up of the 14-man Flood Disaster Management Committee headed by Kingsley Emu, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), to mitigate the challenges expected by the impending flood.
He said the committee is saddled with the responsibility of carrying out aggressive sensitization of citizens on the impending flood and proposing appropriate measures for the prevention and management of flooding, addressing the displacement of people and suggesting ways for the provision of relief materials to victims.
“The Delta State Government will provide support to those displaced from their homes by the rising water level occasioned by the overflow of the River Benue and River Niger.
“Already His Excellency, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori has approved the setting up of Flood Disaster Management Committee to ensure that persons displaced from their homes as a result of the impending flood are adequately catered for at various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps nearest to them.
“We are therefore calling on affected citizens to call the following numbers- 08064137841 and 08037200696 -for government intervention in the case of flooding,” Ahon stated.
Meanwhile, some Deltans have started reacting over the government’s inability to give a permanent solution to the perennial flooding in the country.
“For how long will our government continue to set up a committee on the flood? Why not think of finding a lasting solution to the flooding situation in this country?”, Austin, a native of one of the rural communities in Delta State asked while reacting to the development.
The sufferings of us from the riverine communities are so enormous compared to what the government is doing to assist the victims, he lamented.