CAN Seeks Creation Of Presidential Flood Relief Committee

A file photo of a flooded part in Lagos. Credit: LASEMA

 

The Christian Association of Nigeria on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to set up a Presidential Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Committee to provide succor for flood victims.

In a statement by CAN President, Daniel Okoh, the apex Christian body shared the grief of the victims of flood in several parts of the country.

Massive flooding has been experienced in many coastal and non-coastal parts of the country in the last few weeks due to excessive floods and inflow from external places like Cameroon. Over 300 people have been killed by devastating floods across Nigeria in 2022, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Hundreds of communities have been submerged in Delta, Anambra, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Kogi, Jigawa, Kano, Sokoto, amongst others with thousands of residents displaced and hectares of farmlands washed away, a development that analysts have opined could aggravate food crisis.

CAN said, “As a result of the flooding in Kogi, many travelers and traders are suffering serious collateral damages by being stranded around Lokoja and its surrounding districts, while truckers of perishable foodstuffs are on the verge of losing hundreds of millions of naira as their goods rot away even now that the nation is struggling to maintain food security. Similarly, hundreds of distributors of refined petroleum products are trapped in a heavy traffic gridlock that reportedly stretches as far as 10 kilometres.”

“Consequently, CAN urges the Federal Government to urgently set up and empower a Presidential Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Committee that will consist of eminent and wealthy Nigerians to mobilise financial assistance from both the public and private sectors for the victims of the flood disaster raging communities across the country.

“Such a presidential committee is necessary and timely at this point in our national life because the diligent intervention by all stakeholders will no doubt reduce the burden imposed by the natural disaster facing us today,” CAN added.

[READ ALSO] Flooding: Kogi Government Seeks External Intervention

The Christian body further urged authorities across all levels to make deliberate efforts by designing and implementing a permanent solution to the flood disaster.

“We must further improve on our warning system, promote flood resilient buildings, construct buildings above flood levels and increase spending on the construction of flood defences.

“Our people should be encouraged to planting of trees strategically while the authorities should stop at nothing to restore rivers to their natural courses and introducing water storage areas.

“Apart from clearing the drainage, the government should also embark on public enlightenment about the responsibilities of citizens, which could help to reduce the impact of flooding,” the statement noted

EU Technical Mission Visits Kogi On Flood Crisis

The European Mission has visited Kogi state with the aim of giving a technical advice on how to better manage floods.

While addressing the EU delegation, the special adviser on emergency management to the state governor, Air Vice Marshal Gabriel Abdul (Rtd) described the 2012 floods as a colossal loss as 13 markets, 831 small scale business and many crops stored for off season sales were washed away and destroyed.

The European mission team who came in company of National Emergency Management Agency in Abuja (NEMA) accessed the level of damage by the flood and proffered technical advice towards future occurrence.

The delegation which was received at Koto Karfe by a Kogi state government delegation also visited Ozahi community but had a hard time assessing the neighbourhood as the only access road had been washed away by flood.

The community dwellers were still living in the shelter box provided by the state government, while the only toilet in the community was built by the Nigeria Red Cross.

The team also visited tony farm, where the manager of the farm took them round some part of the farm to see some of the damages caused by the flood.

While presenting his papers in an interactive session, Mr Abdul appealed for assistance from the EU to alleviate the suffering faced by the state. He said that damage had been done to 400,000 hectares of farmland, 24,082 houses in 477 communities in the state.

In his remarks, Dr Sierio Giovaniu stated that the EU will assist the state in areas of flood information management, especially as its relates to forecast and alerts procedures as well as early warning systems.

He commiserated with the state for recording the worst impact of flood last year and assured of technical and other assistance that would help mitigate impact of future flood.

The team is expected to visit the confluence beach Lokoja, Lokoja greater water works, Idah and Ibaji before the end of their visit.

Health Ministry donates medical items to Kogi flood victims

The Federal Government on Saturday donated drugs and medical equipment worth millions of naira to Kogi State Government to address medical needs of the flood victims.

The Deputy Director, Health Emergency Response and Disaster Management, the Federal Ministry of Health, John Kehinde, presented the items to Idris Wada, the state governor, in Lokoja.

Kehinde said that the items were donated to address the immediate health needs of the flood victims, stressing that Kogi remained the worst hit among the 20 states that were affected by the flood disaster because it was home to the confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue.

The items donated include 60 litres of methylated spirit, a thousand pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 3,000 household water filters, 140 cartons of Ringer Lactate and 19 cartons of Darrows’ Solution.

Receiving the items, Wada thanked the Federal Government for the medical items and other relief materials donated to the state.

The governor said that the state government would soon allocate alternative plots of land to victims of the flood to enable them to build new houses in locations far away from river banks and waterways.

“We will do everything we can to give them alternative plots to build new houses but we will enforce extant environmental and town-planning laws.

“When we give them alternative plots, we will also assist them to build their new houses as but we need their understanding and cooperation.

“Now, we are back to the drawing board, planning ahead so that such a thing will never happen to us again. In the future, we will be better prepared with good planning strategies and strict enforcement of regulations.”

Besides, Wada said that the state government planned to invest in water transportation in collaboration with the private sector so as to provide alternative means of transportation for the people.

The federal government pledged that 10,000 anti-malaria drugs and 500 insecticide-treated bed nets would also be delivered to the state by Tuesday.

 

Environmentalist recommends buffer dams as solution to flooding

An Environmentalist, Idowu Salami on Wednesday recommended that the Federal Government should review the design of the variouse dams in Nigeria and identify areas where buffers can be constructed.

Mr Salami, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily said the recent flooding in Kogi state and other parts of Nigeria was a result of heavy rainfall as well as the release of water from some hydroelectricity dams.

In the video below, the environmentalist offered several other solution that can help prevent devastating floods.

Flooding: Saraki recommends more funding for NEMA

The Chairman Senate Committee on Environment, Bukola Saraki on Tuesday recommended that more fund should be allocated to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to enable the agency provide succour for Nigerians affected by disasters.

Speaking against the backdrop of the recent flooding that ravaged parts of Kogi State, Mr Saraki said NEMA currently does not have the resources to cater for the over half a million persons that have been displaced by the flood.

Watch the video below for the full interview: