2012 To Us in Kogi Was Harrowing and a Devastating Experience – Awoniyi

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The Kogi State Government has described as a harrowing experience and very devastating the flood that ravaged the State in 2012.

The Kogi State Deputy Governor Yomi Awoniyi, and Chairman Flood Relief Management Committee stated this when he received in audience a EU – Echo Evaluation Team that is in the State to assess and monitor the support it gave to the State during the 2012 Flood.

Awoniyi disclosed that the State has since put in place a city structure plan in partnership with the UN – Habitat as a mantra for physical development of the State after the flood.

He said towards ensuring that the State was not cut off in future occurrences, the government he added has opened up a 16km Otokiti-Ganaja bye pass road linking both ends of the State capital, noting that movement to the eastern parts of the state was hindered during the flood.

Furthermore as part of its risk reduction plan, the State Government Awoniyi maintained has awarded contract for the building of a dual purpose embankment to serve as beautification of Kabawa area of Lokoja and to also prevent flood in the future.

While noting that most of the areas in the State became flooded as a result of blocked drainages by waste, the State Government Awoniyi added has established a Waste Management Recycling Plant that has the capacity to cater for waste for communities 100km from the State capital under a waste to wealth program.

The State Deputy Governor explained further that the 2012 flood washed away farmlands which necessitated the State Government going into dry season farming, disclosed that, that singular initiative has placed the State on the map of rice producing State in the country.

Towards providing an alternative shelter for those living on the flood plains, the State Government Awoniyi added has built 270 units of houses which he noted has since been completed, disclosed that those internally displaced by the flood were 7,000, pointing out that modalities which require those displaced to apply for the houses has been completed assuring that the houses will in the next few weeks be allocated to victims after due consideration of the applicants level of proximity to the flood plains.

Awoniyi expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for currently building a N150 million rehabilitation camp for those that may in the future be displaced by flood in Ganaja and Gadumo areas, he also praised the Federal Government for increasing the heights of the Lokoja – Abuja road which he noted hindered the smooth movement of about 7,000 articulated vehicles on both sides of the road in 2012.

Awoniyi commended the EU for their interest and support to Kogi State during and after the flood, appealed for more assistance in the areas of funding, equipping and training of the State Emergency Management Agency. He equally praised the Nigerian Red Cross Society for their quick response to the flood and in assisting the State set up and to manage most of its camps in the wake of the 2012 flood.

Earlier in his response, Richard Sole, the EU – Team leader and head of the evaluation team said they are in the State to assess how the support given the State was utilized and verify measures the State has put in place as lessons, gathered after the flood.