2017 Flood Alert: Kogi Sensitises Residents of Riverine Areas

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The Kogi Government has commenced sensitisation and awareness campaign for the residents of riverine areas in order to minimise the effect of the predicted 2017 flooding in the state.
The Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the campaign was flagged off on Wednesday and would cover nine flood prone local government areas across the state.
She told NAN that the essence of the campaign in those communities as directed by Gov. Yahaya Bello, was to ensure that people at the grassroots especially riverine areas who were most prone to flood were properly sensitised.
She noted that the governor had declared a State of Emergency on Environment due to the forecast predicted by Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) of the likely reoccurrence of 2012 cycle of flood which is five years.
She added that some of the predictions made had started coming to past, stressing that some communities in Kogi had actually experienced flooding in the first peak in June and July.
“The second peak of the rain when Kogi may likely be affected, is expected possibly by late August and early September when the rain would fall consistently and likely cause more flooding.
“In addition, there is possibly the release of waters from dams that come into the state excluding the ones generated locally; this is enough to get everyone worries.
“The message is simple, if you were affected by the 2012 flood, then move upland, because between now and next one month we will see much more activities of rain.
“So, it is important to sensitise, encourage and compel the people where necessary to move away from flood plains. Hence, the need to send our sensitisation team to the communities that may be affected.
“We are also excited that the State Government was able to collaborate with National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with lots of assessment in those areas last week.
“The State is at the stage of readiness and we are soliciting the support of all stakeholders to identify sites for camps in the event of evacuation of those communities.
“We are excited that our governor is giving the needed support to ensure that the proper things are done incase of any emergency,” Osikoya said.
The commissioner named the nine reverine flood prone local governments as: Lokoja, Konto-Karfe, Ibaji, Ajaokuta, Igalamela, Idah, Ofu, Omala and Bassa Local Government Areas.
Mr Sunday Baiye, the Coordinator for 2017 Flood Campaign, described the sensitisation which started on Wednesday in Lokoja, as encouraging, saying the villagers turnout en masse to ask questions to have a better understanding of the campaign.
“Today, we took our campaign to the reverine communities in Koton-Karfe/Kogi local government and we are satisfied ┬áthe level of cooperation we are getting from the people.
“We have competent team to handle this sensitisation campaign which will last for nine days for effective coverage of all the nine reverine local government areas,” Baiye said.
NAN Correspondent who monitored the sensitisation campaign reports that Traditional rulers, community leaders, Youth and market women in those communities, pledged their support and commitment to further sensitise their people.
Credits: Stephen Adeleye | NAN

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