By Stephen Adeleye.
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has donated relief materials to victims of flood disaster in 10 local government areas of Kogi State.
The Minister of the ministry, Hajia Sadiya Farouq disclosed this on Tuesday during the inauguration ceremony at Government House Lokoja.
Farouq noted that she was in the State to convey the sympathy of the Federal Government to the Government and people of Kogi over the flood that occurred in some areas of the state.
“Kogi State, having the confluence of the two major Rivers; Niger and Benue is often exposed to the risk of flooding.
“Available information indicates that this year so far, flood has affected many communities and displaced many persons, some of whom are still being rescued and evacuated from water-trapped areas.
“President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is concerned about the flood and has directed the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to activate the National Emergency Management Agency to respond in providing necessary supports to the persons affected by the floods,” she said.
Farouq said that the relief items had already been approved to complement the efforts of the State Government in providing succor to the affected persons in 10 local government areas of Kogi.
According to her, the LGAs are: Ibaji, Lokoja, Kogi, Bassa, Ajaokuta, Igalamela/Odolu, Idah, Ofu and Omala Local Government Areas.
“The items which will be delivered before the end of this week are: 2,931 (12.5kg) bags of rice, 2,931 (12.5kg) bags of garri, 2,931 (25kg) bags of beans, 488 cartons of seasoning, and 244 cartons of tomato paste.
“Others are 293 (20 Litres) kegs of vegetable oil, 146 (20kg) bags of salt, 117 bags of sugar, 5,260 pieces each of mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets and nylon mats.
“Others include: 4,120 bags of cement, 4,120 bundles of roofing sheets, 4,120 pieces of ceiling board, 1,373 packets of zinc nails, 458 bags of 3 inch nails,” Farouq said.
She reassured the governor that NEMA staff would work with your State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) throughout the period of the flood.
She added: “May I therefore on behalf of the Federal Government flag off the relief distribution to the flood affected persons.”
In his remarks, the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on behalf of the people of Kogi, thanked the President Buhari for the gesture and for always listening to the cry of Nigerians especially to the people of Kogi state.
He noted that the perennial flooding is natural disaster and not manmade saying Kogi was always the worst hit especially being a confluence state.
He stressed the need for Kogi State to always get double of relief materials given to other States due to the peculiarity of its geographical location.
“We want to sincerely appreciate the federal government but we request for more.
“We want provision from FG to accommodate construction and reconstruction of the eroded roads and infrastructures in those critically affected LGAs that had been washed away by flood.
“We have always followed all the policies of the federal government in ensuring that we produce what we eat; we are empowering our people through agriculture.”
The governor further appreciated the minister for all the humanitarian packages under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) which many citizens of Nigerians especially Kogi had benefited from.
In his vote of thanks, the Deputy Governor, Mr Edward Onoja, commended the minister and the DG NEMA for the usual gesture and passion of President Buhari for the Nigerians especially Kogi state.
The NEMA is responsible for bringing the relief materials to Kogi, while the Minister inaugurated the distribution on behalf of the federal government.
The Minister was accompanied by the Director General of NEMA, Air Vice Marshal Muhammadu Muhammed (rtd); Minister of State FCT Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, among others.