The flood in the coastal states has claimed 603 persons’ lives, and displaced 1,302,589
By Ovie Edomi
As the flood continues to cause more havoc across different states in Nigeria, the Federal Government has warned that there is no respite yet for the flood-prone states. The Nigerian Metrological Agency has on its part predicted more deadly flooding in the days to come.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq raised this alarm against the background of the devastating flood that has hit some parts of the country, especially Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers, Kogi and Bayelsa states, which has killed, displaced so many people and destroyed properties.
Accordingly, the minister has advised the local governments and state governments of the affected states to commence evacuation of people who are living along water channels and other areas obstructing the flow of water.
In a press statement issued by Nneka Ikem Anibeze, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Mrs Umar Farouq lamented that the flood disaster has overwhelmed the government.
Umar Farouq noted that despite concerted efforts to avert the consequences of the 2022 flooding season as forecast by the Nigerian Metrological Agency, many state governments did not prepare for the flood as a result, the lost of lives and damaged properties have risen astronomically.
According to her “Unfortunately, over 603 lives have been lost as at October 16, 2022. She added that
“A total of 1,302,589 persons have been displaced, 2,504.095 persons have been affected, on the whole, 2,407 persons have been injured, a total of 82,053 houses are completely damaged while 121,318 are partially damaged”
She further noted that 108,392 hectares of farmland were partially destroyed while 332,327 hectares were totally destroyed including many roads and other critical infrastructure.
While equally mourning the unfortunate boat mishap in Anambra State and other locations, she noted that we are not completely out of the woods because the Metrological Agencies hy warned that States like Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa are still at risk of experiencing floods up till the end of November.
She therefore called on the respective State Governments, Local Government Councils and Communities to prepare for more flooding by evacuating people living in flood areas to high grounds, providing tents and relief materials, fresh water as well as medical supplies to prevent possible outbreak of water-borne diseases.
Meanwhile, a high-powered delegation set up by the Ministry is expected to visit State Governors to advocate more commitment to strengthening states’ response mechanisms as stipulated in the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.
The Stakeholders are expected to work within their respective mandates to prevent deaths due to flooding or other health-related diseases that may arise.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo is to however lead a delegation to Cameroon next month, to discuss the periodic opening of the Lagdo dam with the authorities.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed noted that
almost all 36 states and the FCT have received food and non-food items to mitigate various forms of disaster.
According to the Director General National Emergency Management Agency, “We are in every state of the federation. Relief has gone to every state of the federation and we thank the Commander-in-Chief and President, Muhammadu Buhari and the Honorable Minister. We will continue to do our best to provide for the country “.
Meanwhile,Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh has expressed his condolences over the flood ravaging some communities in Bayelsa State.
In a post on social media, Dr. Bashir Jamoh expressed willingness to contribute resources that will provide succour for the displaced.
According to the NIMASA DG, “To my dear brother and partner, His Excellency, Governor Duoye Diri, and the special people of Bayelsa; I want you to know that we share in your sadness over the flooding ravaging your State.
“And we will contribute our bit to ensure succour for the displaced. Our condolences to the bereaved.”
Expectedly, for flood victims who spoke with this reporter in Kogi, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross Rivers States, they expressed shock and deep worries over their plights.