Flood displaced persons rise to 600,000 in Kogi
October 08, 2012 15:41
Lokoja, Oct. 8, 2012 (NAN) The Kogi Government said on Monday that no fewer than 600, 000, with women and children in the majority, were displaced in the floods disaster in the state.
The state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Abdulrahaman Wuya, told newsmen in Lokoja that the number of resettlement camps for the victims had also risen from the initial nine to 87.
Wuya said that the camps were mostly public primary and secondary schools and some health centres, adding that the flood affected 457 communities across nine local government areas.
He said government had set up medical stands in the camps while the referral centre in Idah had been directed to complement the medical stands in the town because of the high number of displaced people from Ibaji Local Government.
Wuya said that a committee, under the chairmanship of the state Deputy Governor, Mr Yomi Awoniyi, had been set up to evolve measures of addressing all sectors affected by the floods.
According to him, education, agriculture, health and roads are some of the sectors already identified to have been badly affected.
He said that government had in the interim decided to merge 87 public primary and secondary schools currently being used as resettlement camps with nearby government schools.
The commissioner said that children could not continue to stay at home until the first week of December when experts said the water would finally recede.
He said the merged schools would run two shifts in the morning and afternoon.
Wuya expressed regrets that communities ravaged by the flood were the food basket of the state, saying that the situation constituted a threat to food security and health of the people.
He said government was thinking of how it could assist farmers in the remaining 12 Local Government areas not affected by the flood to expand their farmlands, using mechanised farming techniques.
Apart from this, he said that government also planned to provide the farmers with improved seeds and high yielding seedlings to boost production.
The commissioner said government had also sensed that the protein intake of the people was likely to be badly affected as many fish ponds and livestock farms were washed away in the flood.
He said government would give fish farmers free nets, hooks and other tools to enhance fishing activities in the riverine communities.
Wuya pointed out that the Ministry of Agriculture had been directed to draw long and short term measures to revive the livestock sector.
On the health hazard posed by the heaps of debris and carcasses of livestock products in areas affected by the flood in Lokoja, Wuya said government had started removing them under its post-flood clean up programme.
He said officials from the Ministry of Health had been directed to start fumigating the areas, to prevent an outbreak of epidemic.
Wuya said that a committee, comprising all relevant stakeholders, would soon be inaugurated to ascertain the level of damage and devastation done to lives, property and farmlands in communities.
He expressed gratitude to Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Chairman of Dangote Group of Companies; UNICEF, the Red Cross, NEMA, other groups and individuals that donated cash and relief materials to the victims.
Wuya said government lacked the capacity to confront the problems created by the flood, saying that Gov. Idris Wada, was already in contact with the presidency on areas of assistance. (NAN)