—– wants government to immediately declare a State of Emergency on the flooding, free up resources for managing the effects
The Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria, (INGRA), has lamented the poor government responses to the recent flood disaster in the country, particularly in Kogi state which he observed was worst hit.
In a statement issued on Sunday in Lokoja by Hamza Aliyu,
Executive Director of INGRA and made available to journalists, said nothing concrete is being done by government at all levels to cushion the effect of the devastating flood, which he said has ravaged homes, displaced hundreds of people, while farm lands were washed away.
He said there is need for the State Government to immediately declare a State of Emergency on the flooding to free up resources for managing the disaster and getting federal assistance
In addition, the ED stressed the need for immediate audit of the preparedness of the State agencies responsible for disaster management
According to him, Local Government must be assisted and capacitated to provide immediate assistance to citizens affected by the disaster, saying that the chairmen and their Councils must be responsive to the specific needs of their citizens based on their perculiarities.
“Citizens must be assisted to relocate to government coordinated Camps for displaced persons. These camps must meet basic minimum human conditions for protection, safety and habitation.
There is need for immediate mobilization of resources by Community based organization and citizen groups to assist displaced persons
“Kogi State is one of the 5 States that had been forcasted to experience floods this year by the Nigerian Metrological Agency, including States such as Benue, Kebbi, Niger, Anambra, etc.
“The Federal agency had warned both governments and citizens in these states to take proactive measures and preventing the loss of property and lives during the rainy season when it was predicted that these floods would ravage the States.
“Some States and citizens heeded these warnings and began preparations for these situations. However the scope and scale of these floods have surpassed th levels of the 2012 episode, which was the worst experienced in recent memories. This current situation has surpassed those levels and currently threatening even high level areas.
“Kogi State is now one of the worst hit states and towns such as Lokoja, Oyedega, Idaho, Ajaokuta, Koton Karfe, etc are recording unprecedented levels of flooding with loss of lives and properties.
It is unfortunate that the State and Local Governments showed little or no strategic planning towards mitigating the impacts of the predictions. This has shown in the reaction of the government towards the disaster.
“Many areas of the capital have been submerged in water for over 2 weeks with little or no response by the Government. Ganaja, Gadumo, Adankolo, Old Market and Sarkin noma are now lakes and rivers where previously land and people existed.
“The rivers of the confluence has overshot it’s banks and there is reports of massive loss of properties and lives. This is not mentioning the attendent economic losses to the area and the State, taking into consideration the position of Lokoja as a transit location and the State been bounded by 9 other states.
“The almost non existence of government response to the disaster is very alarming considering that there were early warnings about the disaster.
The Ministries of Women Affairs, Environment, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have failed to show any meaningful impact towards providing succour to victims of the disaster.
“This was not surprising considering that both State and Local Governments did not provide any meaningful budgetary allocation to disaster management in the 2022 budget despite having warnings about the issue. This is very unfortunate.
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