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Kogi flood victims need federal aid

By Zainab Umaru Kwagyang
28 October 2022   |   3:43 am
Sir: In Kogi State, it’s apparent that the devastating effects of flooding have left hundreds of people homeless, and many lost their lives while properties eroded worth billions of naira. Painfully, most of the victims are less privileged individuals living from hand to mouth. This is to say the situation has added to their sufferings…

[FILES] Buildings submerged in Lokoja PHOTO: IBRAHIM OBANSA

Sir: In Kogi State, it’s apparent that the devastating effects of flooding have left hundreds of people homeless, and many lost their lives while properties eroded worth billions of naira. Painfully, most of the victims are less privileged individuals living from hand to mouth. This is to say the situation has added to their sufferings and as such many lost their lives due to hunger and starvation in the Internally Displaced Person camps. Food inadequacy has been the major concern in the IDP camp whereby multiple people share a cup of ‘garri’ from dawn to sunset.

Besides, in the provided IDP camps, there is no access to basic facilities such as water, toilets and a suitable place to lie their head. Some of the victims and their families sleep outside in the middle of the night, without mosquito nets, thereby exposing themselves to disease outbreaks such as Cholera, Typhoid, Malaria and many more.

Apart from that, the victims are vulnerable to dangerous animals such as snakes, scorpions, and assassin bugs among others. Therefore, the victim’s life is in a serious dilemma and if care is not taken, many would still lose their lives instead of surviving in the Internally Displaced Person Camps.

The situation is beyond the state government of Kogi alone. More than 10 local governments were affected by the downfall and over 80,000 homes were submerged, and the extent of damaged properties including farms is yet to be ascertained. As such, the intervention of the Federal Government is needed in the said areas to save lives.

Disgustingly, it was alleged some unscrupulous elements among the camp aides are secretly diverting what is meant for the flood victims and leaving them with no food to eat despite the pitiful situation in the camps. The point is if people who are in need are to be marauded by heartless buglers then we have a long way to go in this country.

The state government should investigate the alleged behaviour and bring the people involved to face the wrath of law.

In particular, the Federal Government should provide the victims with the necessary relief materials and reduce their suffering.

Zainab Umaru Kwagyang wrote from Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri.