By Emma Amaize, Samuel Oyadongha, Festus Ahon, Gabriel Enogholase Ochuko Akuopha
There are fears of epidemic in Ijaw riverine communities sacked by flood in Edo and Bayelsa states, yesterday, as residents drink, bathe and cook with flood water, while virtually all the schools have been shut down due to the catastrophe.
Ijaw Flood Control Unit, IFCU, in a field report by the Convener, Rosemary Naingba, after an investigative tour of some affected communities in Edo and Bayelsa states, said: “We observed that the people’s sources of livelihood (farming/fishing) have been destroyed, the people live in excruciating hunger, they drink and use the flood water to meet their domestic needs.”
The group visited Adagbabiri, Ofonibeinghan, Ayakoromor, Gbekebor, Agoloma and Patani communities.
Dickson releasesN50m for victims
Meanwhile, in Bayelsa State, Governor Seriake Dickson, has ordered the release of N50 million for the purchase of relief materials for victims of the flood disaster in the state.
Dickson expressed concern over the situation in the state, describing it as another pathetic disaster.
The governor, according to a statement, gave the directive during a meeting with the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, and chairmen of the local government councils.
Okowa oders opening of academic activities at holding camps
This came as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, paid unscheduled visit to holding camps set up for persons displaced by the flood, which submerged several coastal communities in the state.
He ordered Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to organise academic activities for school children who are in temporal shelters at different camps.
Speaking during an interactive session with children at the camp, Okowa said: “I have listened to you (children) and your major concern is how to be engaged acedemically in the camp, which is very good. Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education is already working on that. It is very important that the children are positively engaged in an organised manner.”
110 Isoko indigenes evacuated to IDPs camp
Similarly, no fewer than 110 persons from flood ravaged Isoko communities, Delta State have been evacuated to the newly established Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp at Ozoro, headquarters in Isoko North Local Government Area of the state.
The flood victims from over 10 communities arrived the camp located at Alaka Grammar School, Ozoro in buses made available by the state government as the water level continued to rise unabatedly in the communities.
Edo PDP wants Obaseki, Oshiomhole to account for N30bn loan
Also in Edo State, as flooding continues to ravage communities in the state, the state chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, has demanded an explanation from Governor Godwin Obaseki and ex- governor Adams Oshiomhole on how they utilised N30 billion the state borrowed for the Benin Water Storm project.
Orbih, who spoke yesterday, in Benin City, while receiving David Olukoga, a former chairman of War Against Indiscipline,WAI, under the government of Oshiomhole and his supporters who defected to the PDP, said if the government had channelled the loan into addressing the flooding problem in Edo State, the erosion problem in Benin City could have been minimized.
Orbih said: “I will like to use this opportunity to appeal to National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and Edo State Government to immediately bring relief materials to erosion victims in Iguosa, Evbotubu and Erunmwunse areas of Benin City.
“I appeal to the governor to send relief materials to these people because whenever it rains in Benin City, they lose their houses and other property to the menace of erosion. The reason why we are saying this is that former Governor Oshiomhole borrowed N30 billion to address the erosion problem in the state through Benin Water Storm Project.
“So, Obaseki and Oshiomhole must solve this problem, they must give account to the Edo People on the N30 billion loan they borrowed and must provide relief material to the victims.”
Epidemic looms in Bayelsa, Edo communities
On fear of epidemic in Ijaw riverine communities of Edo and Bayelsa states, Naingba said: “Consequent upon the ravaging flood, there is a rising epidemic and the people face a high health risk due to their continuous stay in the flooded environment. We observed that schools in all these communities have gone on flood break, businesses and other forms of social activities have closed.
“We also observed that Federal Government interventionist agencies, such as NEMA, Red Cross or state government interventionist commissions or teams have not visited any of the Ijaw communities.
“Immediate evacuation of the people living in the affected communities to a temporary place of stay, especially internally displaced persons camp, IDPs.”