FG distributes relief materials to flood victims in A’ Ibom.

By Isaac Job

The federal government through National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has donated relief materials worth millions of naira to flood victims in Akwa Ibom to ameliorate their sufferings.

Speaking in Uyo on Wednesday the Director General of NEMA, Mr Mustapha Ahmed, during the distribution of the items said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of the relief materials to the state as part of federal government efforts to come to the needs of citizens in difficult times.

Ahmed, who was represented by the Director, Disaster Risk Reduction in NEMA, Dr Daniel Obot, said the 2022 flood requires proactive measures from governments at all levels to take deliberate action that would lead to substantial reduction of flood disaster risk and loss of lives and property.

He said that NEMA has received reports of flood disasters in more than 450 Local Government Areas from 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory and was still counting adding that government must have a better understanding of flood disaster risk, by looking deeply into previous flood disaster and planned ahead of any future occurrence.

According to him, it would be cost-effective to plan for disaster risk reduction than waiting for disaster to occur and then pay compensation and distribute relief materials to affected victims.

He urged state government to strengthen the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and establish Local Government Emergency Committees to manage disaster risk in the communities.

“Ensure that new infrastructure does not introduce new risk. Locating infrastructure out of harm is one way to be proactive.

“Listen and take full advantage of early warning alerts from Hydro-Meteorological Services Agency and the National Emergency Management Agency.

“Have the political will to invest in disaster risk reduction activities through adequate budget appropriation,” Ahmed said.

The director general explained that the relief materials were to ameliorate their sufferings as the federal government could not compensate for the traumatic experiences of persons affected by disaster impacts.

Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, commended the federal government and NEMA for the donations and pledged that the beneficiaries would make judicious use of the items.

Ekpo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in his office, Mr Nkopuruk Ekaiko, said that 18 local government areas of the state were affected in the 2022 flood disaster.

He asked the Chairmen of affected local government areas to ensure effective and transparent distribution of the relief materials to the affected victims to encourage governments and its agencies.

“We have seen the relief materials NEMA has donated to victims of flood disaster in 2022 here in Akwa Ibom State.

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“The Director General, we have seen some materials from your agency and we do not want to keep the materials because the people are in need of it. So, we will continue to distribute as they come, that is the essence of our being here today,” he said.

He pledged continuous cooperation of the state government with NEMA and the federal government to enhance the welfare of citizens.

Responding on behalf of the benefiting local government areas and Chairman of Abak local government, Mr Ekerete Inyang, appreciated the federal government and the agency for coming to the aid of the flood victims in the state.

Inyang promised that the relief materials would be distributed to the direct flood victims in the state to give them sense of belonging.

One of the victims, Mr Asuquo Udoh from Itu local government lauded the federal government, NEMA and state for the gesture.

Items distributed by NEMA include; 1, 000 bags of 10kg rice, 1, 000 bags of 10kg beans, 1, 000 bags of 10kg maize, 75 bags of 20kg salt, 75 kegs of 20litres vegetable oil, 150 cartons of seasoning cubes and 75 cartons of tin tomato.

Others were 8, 000 pieces of nylon mats 1, 000 pieces of mosquitoes treated nets, 600 cartons of bar soap, 2,500 pieces of guinea brocade, 1, 000 pieces of children’s wear, 1, 000 pieces of women’s wear and 1, 000 pieces of men’s wear.

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