A Non Governmental Organization, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ has called on the federal and state governments, international civil society organizations, private sectors as well as well-meaning individuals to partner with her to provide the much needed support to victims of flood disaster ravaging coastal parts of the country.
CEPEJ boss, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, who made the call in Abuja, appealed for assistance to tackle the flood ravaging the country, especially in the resettlement of communities already affected by the flood.
He said: “As a non-governmental organization with a special focus on environmental justice, we are sensitizing the people living within the affected areas and call for adequate relief materials to the victims and properly resettle them.”
According to him: “CEPEJ is also by this means advocating that the federal government provides continued assistance in the resettlement efforts towards finding a permanent solution to the problem of flooding in Nigeria.
“We are deeply saddened that several lives have been lost to the annual flooding in the affected areas, homes and farmlands have been destroyed, means of livelihood brought to an abrupt halt and farm produce worth millions of naira destroyed”.
Comrade Mulade added that many affected persons have not been reached with any aid and suffering is on the increase for victims with traumatizing experiences especially in some cases where it was practically impossible to send relief materials or evacuate the victims.
He further noted that there was much more to be done to follow up with this order, saying: “CEPEJ hopes that as part of the federal government’s long term measures, the construction of buffer dams on the long stretch of the Niger be considered, to intermittently break wild water tides and avoid future reccurrence.”
Recall that early this year, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency warned that over 11 states including Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa, Yobe and Zamfara were prone to imminent flooding, and as such government should take pro-active measures against the impending disaster, apart from circulation of this information to offices of relevance, not much else was done.
Following the earmarking of the eleven (11) states and 50 LGAs as frontline states to be affected by the flooding, on 17 September 2018, a national disaster was declared in the worst four affected states: Anambra, Delta, Kogi and Niger.
According to NEMA report, 327,052 people affected in the flooded states with over 70 casualties. Damaged shelters are yet to be ascertained in some areas as the flooding has not yet subsided. There are reports of malaria and water borne diseases.
Some of the displaced population is currently being hosted in emergency shelters such as LGA offices, schools, stadia, churches and an IDP hostel built by Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation.
Victims across the affected areas have continued to requests for food, medicines, mosquito nets and shelters. The floods have damaged agricultural lands and over, 60,208 hectares have already been affected.
The extent of the damage is expected to increase once floods have completely receded. Power and telecommunications lines have also been reported to be down in some locations.