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Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu has said that ravaging flood has sacked thousands of residents in several communities in nineteen local government areas of the state.
Speaking on “News Across the Nation” on Channels Television on Thursday, Aniagwu said that over sixty thousand Deltans have been displaced while goods and property worth billions of naira have been destroyed by the rampaging flood.
He stressed that the state government through the State Bureau of Orientation had earlier alerted residents on low plain areas of the imminent flooding.
He added that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa immediately directed the setting up of camps and provision of food and relief materials to the flood victims.
He commended well meaning Deltans for their support to the flood victims and called for more assistance.
According to him, 19 out of the 25 Local Government Areas of Delta state, have been largely submerged by water. That is not to say that the remaining 6 are entirely free but that those 6 are better off.
“We have been able to set up as much as 11 camps and we are still sending relief materials to individuals in some affected communities that are not in the camps.
“There are some communities that would not want to come to the camps because they see their communities as their ancestral homes. So we also try as much as possible to send relief materials to them even when they are not in camps.
“We are hoping that the members of these communities, individuals and the private sector would try and see how they can come to the aid of these persons in camp.
“The state government is doing a lot and what has helped us so far to mitigate casualties, is that we started our sensitisation on time. The state Bureau of Orientation has been very busy in the last three months, making it known to the people that this flood would come.
“So that has helped some persons move away from flood prone areas before the flooding; otherwise, it would have been worst than what it is now.
“We do hope that as we make progress, the Federal government just like the Governor said, in the course of his visit, should come to take steps to address this issue of flood, by seeing how the rivers Niger and Benue can be dredged.
“There is also the need to establish dams to help contain some of these waters whenever it is released, so that we do not continue to go through this perennial crisis of flooding of different communities,” he said.
On the total number of persons displaced by the flood, Aniagwu said it was difficult to estimate the figure because majority of the victims were not in camps.
“You can’t easily put a number to those affected, because of communal spirit, some of them have moved to stay with their relations.
“In the camp we have over 20,000 persons as at few days’ ago. The challenge is that more persons keep moving in on daily basis because the flood is yet to recede, you have more number of persons trooping to the camps so the number has gone beyond 26,000 at the moment.
“Displaced persons is over 60,000, their farmlands have also been submerged and the State Government has continued to provide electricity and other facilities in the camps to make them at least comfortable.
“The Governor transversed these areas even when it was raining to see a number of our people who have been displaced on account of the very disturbing flood.”