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Declare emergency on flood disaster, CSOs, others tell FG

By Julius Osahon (Yenagoa), Monday Osayande (Asaba), Joke Falaju (Abuja) and Uzoma Nzeagwu (Awka)
21 October 2022   |   5:24 am
Following the devastation by floods along the country’s coastlines, there have been calls by civil society and other stakeholders in the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on flooding in the country.

NUJ seeks suspension of electioneering in South South
• Julius Berger donates 25 containers for shelter in Anambra, Delta

Following the devastation by floods along the country’s coastlines, there have been calls by civil society and other stakeholders in the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on flooding in the country.

Lending his voice to the development, former Commissioner for Environment and Works in Delta State, Dr. George Ugbomah, also called for the urgent setting up of a high-powered technical committee, comprising representatives of relevant government bodies, to provide a ‘Work Guide’ for the construction of dams in some parts of the country to contain excessive water that might cause flooding.

Ugbomah, a victim of the flood whenever it occurs around his palatial home in Aboh, Ndokwa East Local Council of Delta State, made this known in a statement entitled “A Call For Declaration Of State Of Emergency On Flooding In Nigeria’ made available to journalists in Asaba, yesterday.

Also, the Executive Director, Eziodu Initiative for Sustainable Environmental Development (EISED-NGO), Okezi Odugala, who is greatly disturbed by the ravages of the flood, called on the government at all levels and other stakeholders to be proactive in tackling flood and other natural disasters caused by climate change.

IN the same vein, a coalition of CSOs, including ActionAid, Christian Aid Plan International and Care International, called on federal and state lawmakers to speak up about the flood issue and re-allocate budget lines to provide life-saving assistance to affected populations.

The Country Director, ActionAid, Ene Obi, noted that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs recently declared that flooding affected the lives of 1.4 million people, displaced 790,254, and killed over 600 across the country.

She added that the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroun led to serious flooding in Kogi, with about 60 communities submerged leading to the death of three persons and displacement of 50,000.

The international Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), however, urged the governments to immediately launch life-saving measures by stepping up the search-and-rescue efforts to ensure that trapped communities are immediately evacuated.

The Country Director of Plan International, Charles Usie, called on the government to re-direct the budget hitherto used for pilgrimages to mitigating such disaster.

NIGERIA Union of Journalists (NUJ), Zone F (South South), has called for the suspension of all political campaigns in the six South-South states for two weeks.

According to a statement by the Vice President, Opaka Dokubo, and Zonal Secretary, John Angese, doing so will allow for concentration on bringing succour to the suffering masses.

The journalists described relief efforts so far by the Federal Government in the impacted areas as inadequate.

The union said it smacks of insensitivity for politicians to continue to engage in exuberant political activities while the people, whom they are jostling to govern, face a situation that has completely overwhelmed them.

MEANWHILE, Julius Berger Nigeria Limited has donated 25 empty containers as temporary shelter to victims displaced by flood in Anambra and Delta communities.

The Project Director of Julius Berger, Frederick Weiser, disclosed this yesterday when he received members of the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), who visited his office at head-bridge Onitsha, Anambra State.

Weiser said the company had been providing Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) with treated water and some other relief materials.

He called on good-spirited Nigerians to assist people in the IDP camps with relief materials.