Flood: At last FG sends relief materials to Bayelsa

By Chris Ezeonoh

After much ado, the Federal Government has sent relief items to cushion the suffering of flood victims in Bayelsa State.

Bayelsa is believed to be the worst hit by the ravaging flood which is wreaking havoc across many states in the country.

Bayelsa state government and other stakeholders have been calling on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the state given the magnitude of devastation the flood has caused in the state.

On Thursday, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) South South Zone in collaboration with the Nigerian Air force commenced the airlift and distribution of relief materials to Bayelsa and Rivers States.

According to the Zonal Coordinator NEMA South-South zonal office, Mr Godwin Tepikor, the items delivered to Bayelsa were 1,400 bags of 10kg rice, 1,400 bags of 10kg beans, 1,400 bags of 10kg maize, 75 bags of salts (20kg), while non-food items are 8,000 pieces of nylon mats, 1,000 pieces of mosquito nets, 600 cartons of bath soap, amongst others.

The Zonal Coordinator NEMA said the items were to provide succour to the affected population in Bayelsa as approved by the Federal Government.

He said: “On the 29 of September I received a distress call from somebody from Akenfa here in Bayelsa, and we responded immediately by coming to carry out an assessment which was forwarded to Abuja immediately.

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“Before then the federal government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Agency had directed NEMA to provide relief materials to all the 36 states, including Abuja and the effort was ongoing.

“But we could not access Bayelsa, because the state was cut off from the rest of the country and because of that it was difficult to move down with the materials provided by the federal government.

“But we have to rely on our partner who is the Nigerian Air force for assistance to move down the items”, he explained.

The NEMA coordinator commended the Chief of Air Staff for approving the platform for the airlift of food and non-food items to Bayelsa.

Receiving the items on behalf of the Bayelsa Governor, Mr Angos Dide, the Secretary State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA) commended the Federal Government for coming to their aid.

He also commended the effort of the Nigerian Air force, which he said assisted the flood victims with free medical services during the 2018 flood season.

Dide said NEMA and SEMA would collaborate in the sharing of the items to ensure that areas mostly affected were given priority attention.

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