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Delta Government on Friday alerted residents in flood prone areas to relocate to higher planes as flood continues to ravage parts of the state.
Director General, State Bureau of Orientation, Mr. Eugene Uzum who gave the warning at a news conference in Asaba, said that the state government was concerned about the lives and property of citizens living in flood prone areas in the face of Nigerian Metrological Agency’s forecast of heavy rains and flooding in the country.
According to Uzum, the State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has approved the setting up of the Inter-ministerial Flood and Disaster Management Committee headed by Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah to mitigate the challenges expected by the impending ravaging flood.
He said the Committee is saddled with the responsibility of carrying out aggressive sensitization of citizens on the impending flood and opening, maintenance and management of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps throughout the state.
“You will recall that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) have been consistent in their annual flood forecast and this year’s prediction is no exception.
“As a proactive government, the Delta State Government led by Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has taken proactive measures to ensure that there is no loss of lives and minimal damage to property.
“In 2012 we had flooding that was very drastic across the country of which Delta had its fair share of the challenge and since then it has become a recurring decimal.
“The 2022 flood forecast is estimated at 3,000mm and 4,000mm and this is very huge compared to what we had in previous years.
“It’s important to note that the Office of the SSG and the Ministry of Environment have been monitoring the flood levels along River Niger and its tributaries,” he said.
The Orientation boss further said the State Government was working with ALGON, Traditional institutions and Presidents-General of communities in the state to further sensitize the people.
He said the State Orientation Bureau in conjunction with the Ministry of Information have continued to bring up-to-date information on the impending flood to the people.
“At the moment the water levels have moved up and government has started relocating them to ensure that no loss of lives and minimal damage to property.
“We encourage our people who are at the low lands to move to upland while crops should be harvested to avoid total loss of agricultural products.
“Today the floods are here and from available records, it has risen to 3,200mm and 3,400mm and expected to get to 4,000mm based on the forecast of NiMet and other agencies.
“So what we have done is to take this information to the people because of the challenges of ignorance and cultural beliefs and we are convinced that they would relocate accordingly.
“The setting up of IDP camps would be based on needs assessment going by the level of flood waters,” Uzum stated.