Declare emergency in Isoko for flood victims, group tells Buhari, Okowa


A socio-cultural group, Enyaharo Isoko has urged the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government and the Ifeanyi Okowa-led Delta State Government to urgently mobilise materials and personnel to assist victims of the flood disaster currently ravaging over 80 per cent of Isoko nation, due to the opening of Lagdo Dam in Cameroun.

In a statement issued by its President, Amos Iwary, the group expressed dismay at the extensive displacement and destruction of lives and property the flood has wreaked on Isoko towns and villages and called for immediate action to rescue those still trapped in flooded areas and begin assistance to those who managed to escape and are in internally displaced camps across Isoko and elsewhere.

“Enyaharo Isoko is saddened at the extent of displacement and destruction of the flood and urges an immediate bipartisan approach to assist victims. It is, therefore, calling for a national emergency in Isokoland with regard to the intense flooding for effective rescue operations and humanitarian assistance to victims, who have been rendered homeless, jobless and in desperate need of help.

“Enyaharo Isoko also wishes to point out that almost 90 per cent of Isoko land has been overwhelmed by the unprecedented flood that is worse than the 2012 flood that also caused great destruction of lives and property. While we as a group are doing all in our power to assist victims, there is no gainsaying the fact that the unprecedented flood is far beyond the scope that mere individual or group assistance can remedy. Only the effective mobilisation of government resources and personnel can make a difference to those who are affected and have suffered huge losses.

“Therefore, Enhayaro Isoko urges the state and federal governments to, as a matter of urgency, task the state and national emergency agencies to swing into action with boats to go round submerged villages and towns for anyone still trapped and unable to escape the first wave of flooding and bring them to the various IDP camps.

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“Also, governments at all levels are urged to flood IDP camps with food, clothing materials, mattresses, toiletries and sundry provisions, so that rescued victims are well catered for in these hours of acute needs. This is the time for the government to be responsible and responsive and stand up for its people, the statement reads.

The group stressed that due to the urgency of the matter at hand there was no time for partisan politicking as the natural disaster does not know the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), Labour Party (LP) or political parties, as the flood remains a humanitarian disaster for which only concerted efforts could help ameliorate the sufferings of victims.

It also charged the government to deploy psychologists and psychiatrists to the various IDP camps to counsel victims as most of them were currently undergoing emotional, psychological and mental trauma as a result of the unquantifiable loss of their sources of livelihood and homes, insisting: “Nothing must be taken for granted in efforts to help victims for the monumental damage the flood has caused them.”

While the group commends efforts so far made to rescue and assist victims of the flood disaster, Enyaharo Isoko believes more needed to be done, as the flood had remained unabating in its rampage among Isoko towns and villages, as it had continued to push inwards to areas that otherwise never experienced flooding even in the 2012 flood disaster.

The group also urged Isoko sons and daughters to begin immediate mobilisation for post-flood analysis and assistance to those affected.

“Beyond lamenting this catastrophe, both the two local councils helmsmen and Isoko Development Union (IDU), the apex socio-cultural body of Isoko, should begin to immediately mobilise resources and personnel to manage the IDP camps so the flood victims do not tip over.

“IDU should call on all Isoko sons and daughters worldwide to come to the assistance of their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers back home in these times of unprecedented suffering of kith and kin.

“It should immediately begin planning for flood disaster fundraising efforts that will be used to assist victims to resettle to normalcy as soon as the flood subsides. There is an urgent need to look beyond this tragic period to begin post-flood action plans for the resettlement of victims back to their various communities,” the statement added.

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