Isaac Money ..,Yenagoa
For the numerous flood affected victims in Bayelsa state who have continued to count their loses, it seems a hopeless situation for succor or palliatives from the state government even though they have been expecting relief in one form or the other.
But government says a committee to work out ways of reaching out to flood victims is in the offing .
This is about two months into the ravaging flood in various parts of the state that is worst affected due to its nearness to the sea as the content of the river Niger is more of being drained into the sea. This according to experts, made the case of Bayelsa quite different and worst hit.
Despite this scenario, the state government says it will adopt a scientific approach to finding a lasting solution to the mind boggling phenomenon through the state owned Niger Delta University .
Although as at the time of this report experts says the flood has reportedly started receding, however since the ravaging flood commenced about two months now, several communities have been submerged ,millions of properties including lives have been lost, people rendered homeless . Despite all these , no relief materials , no respite from government yet even as they are anxiously looking up to the Governor Douye Diri-led “Restoration for Prosperity” government for succor .
Unlike the 2012 flood , this time around there are no government-built Internally Displaced Persons ( IDPS) Camps as most of the victims hibernates in make shift spaces in areas that are not fit or so dangerous for human habitation . To some , in the course of escaping from a flooded area to another area that is less flooded, the popular saying of from fry pan to fire was literally encountered as the sudden visit more flood in the newly relocated area caused more woos for survival .
For one of the flood displaced persons , 56 year old Eniye Unity, a plantain/ Yam frier with 10 children and her 78 years old husband, her flood displaced home at Akemfa area of Yenagoa and hibernating in a tiny space provided by a good Samaritan. It’s not a pace fit for human habitation but she was d to put up there with family.
She’s been in that tiny space for up to a month and in the process established a Platain/yam firing business to survive the family,
Eniye who spoke in an emotion laden interview disclosed that ” it’s about one month and a week since water took over our home; our properties destroyed, and we were helpless until somebody helped us with accommodation where my six children are staying now, while my aged husband is staying at another good Samaritan’s house”
“So we survive this disaster by the grace of God , no help from the government for now but we believe in God that government will come to our aid, she added in an emotion laden tone
Speaking in the same vain, Mr. Henry Commissioner, another flood victim at the Igbogene area of Yenagoa told journalists that the ravaging flood has taken over both his home and business premises . He hibernates by the road sides in a make shift tent he constructed .
He put it thus : “As I’m talking to you , I don’t have any alternative place to sleep except this tent that you see . We fold it during the day time . We are happy that the increase in flood is not as it started , it may start to recede soon
” Our sources of livelihood have been taken away by the ravaging flood and the suffering is so much, nothing is coming from the government where we had hoped.
Government is not doing anything to help us like previous years they provided Camps where we relocated till the flood ended . At that time , even medical facilities were provided , but for this flood , we havnt seen anything for relief.
Most of the flood victims have been a guest of mosquitoes and the cold rainy weather as malaria and other Diseases have been the order of the day.
“The type of cold and mosquitoes bites being experienced is enormous as we are at the mercy of various sicknesses . No help from anywhere despite all these suffering . We are pleasing
Responding to the plight of the flood victims , governor Douye Diri had taken a tour of most of the communities and promised to find lasting solution to the perennial flooding in the state .
Also lamenting in the vain, Pastor Fetongha Macus, a displaced resident of Akemfa Community who expressed disappointment over what he described as government’s slow response to the plight of flood victims in the state appealed to government for timely intervention .
” Government should come and rescue us from this terrible situation . I cannot go back to my house now. “Look at where I put up with my brother since flood took our house “, lamented Pastor Macus whose Church was also taken over by the deadly flood.
Disturbed by the massive destruction of properties and dislocation communities and inhabitants, the governor says his administration would take a scientific approach to finding a lasting solution to the problem as environmental experts in the state owns Niger a Delta University would be contacted for a scientific approach.
While giving insight on what the state government have been doing and intend to do to cushion the effects on flood on inhabitants of the state, Mr. Ayibaina Duba, the Commissioner for information and Orientation, disclosed that government has not only set up a committee to look into flood impacted Communities with a view to finding succor for them but has also approached the state owned Niger Delta University to find a scientific solution to the massive flood problem in the state .
He lamented that government is so worried at the perennial flooding situation that has caused lots of damages to properties and human habitation.
“We found out that some communities are more sever than others . What we did was to set up a committee to look at it. That is what government is doing”, said Dubai.
He explained that government prefers to meet communities that are impacted through the Committee which is headed by the Secretary to the state Government ( SSG) and not to set up Internally Displaced Persons ( IDPS) Camps.
After thorough assessment of impacted areas and Communities, the committee will reach out to all affected with relief materials and health concerns , he further disclosed
“When they come out, ( the Committee) government will role out .it will be everybody that is genuinely impacted” , disclosed Duba.
Throwing more insight on what the governor Diri-led administration intend to do to check the menace of flooding in the state , the Commissioner said “the bigger picture for government is to see how this yearly ritual can be checked .
“If we are not able to stop it totally how do we mitigate. .so that this thing don’t come every years.
“Yes our terrain is the way it is .. We need a scientific approach to it . That is why His Excellency directed Niger Delta University( NDU) to do some work on it , let them carry out research on it .because what we are seeing …no matter how much money we have we can’t sand fill the entire state.If you take the entire budget ,we can’t.
“It is a sad situation,government will find out what is wrong. If there are areas we need to open up or if there are scientific ways on how to go about it, we should do it rather than people waiting for palliatives .and go to IPD Camps and all that” noted the information commissioner who added that government is also looking at ways of doing some work on the Epie creek with a view to checking the rate of flooding in the state .
T PATNERS WITH STATE UNIVERSITY FOR SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO CHECK MASSIVE YEARLY FLOOD.