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Relief materials distributed to flood victims

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By Timothy Akintola

Release of water from Oyan dam increases water level in Lagos lagoon.

The issue of flooding that has plagued most states in Nigeria has become a national concern. Numerous citizens have become victims of displacement as houses continue to be submerged. Though, one major prevailing concern, lives and properties are continually being threatened by this issue that is spreading across some states like wildfire. This is the worst flooding to ravage the country within the last decade. A similar incident was experienced in 2012, where Nigeria was reported to have lost N2.6 trillion in revenue, millions of people displaced, an estimated 600,000 houses destroyed, and another 363 people killed. Reports have indicated that the current flooding has been caused by heavy rainfall and the release of excess water from the Cameroonian dam, leading to flooding that has threatened the lives and properties of millions of Nigerians.

Lagos is one of the states that has recently been hit by major flooding. Lagos State’s Commissioner for Environment and zested Resources, Tunji Bello noted that the water release from Oyan dam by the management of the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority which had increased the water levels contributing to the current flooding. They urged residents around the riverbank to relocate immediately. With this problem affecting some residents in Lagos, the Federal Government has distributed relief materials like clothes, food provisions and other household materials to the Lagos State residents affected by this flood and previous disasters.

Numerous states, including Lagos plagued by the widespread flooding.

These items were distributed by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed stated that over the last few days, numerous states in the country, including Lagos had immensely been plagued by the widespread flood disaster. Ahmed stated that the result of this natural disaster has led to immense loss of lives, properties, displacements, socioeconomic dislocation and the livelihood of many citizens.

He said that the Lagos Territorial Office of NEMA was working collaboratively with stakeholders, as well as the state’s Ministries of Agriculture and Environment and Water Resources to improve the situation. Also, NEMA’s Lagos office is reported to be working with the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Services in offering quick responses to distress calls and conducting necessary assessments that would help enhance the disbursement of relief items to the needed victims.

Government to help victims restart their lives by providing relief items.

Ahmed further noted that the recent assessment indicated that over 24,000 households had been affected by the flood, with a large amount of people dead to date. 920 houses, 300 cultivated hectares of rice, cassava and yam farms had all been submerged, with all crops lost. He said that numerous Livestock had also been swept away. He also stated that on submission of the assessment report to the Federal Government, President Buhari immediately ordered 12,000 tonnes of assorted grains from the National Strategic Reserve, to be disbursed to affected states which have since been delivered.

NEMA pointed out that the collaboration with state governments, senators and ministers from affected states would aid the distribution of these relief materials directly to the affected victims. Ahmed further noted that NEMA was also providing relief items to help victims of the 2022 flood disaster in Lagos State currently. He noted that while no single world government can completely compensate victims of natural disasters, the government must take responsibility of helping them gradually restart their lives by the provision of relief materials.

LASEMA officials to be enrolled for disaster management training.

Appeals have been made to the Lagos State Government to improve the capacities of the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMCs) within all the local government areas in the state to ensure the implementation of disaster risk strategies, claiming that while disasters are always local, first responders should be the local agencies, thus allowing for quick response times. He also stated that preventive measures must be implemented in tackling impeding natural disasters. On improving the risk strategies, the Director-General then stated that officials of LASEMA would enroll for a high-level International Disaster Management Training which is to be organized by the Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre.


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