By Ohikwo Muhammad -Lokoja
National Emergency Management Agency NEMA is to coordinate distribution of several relief items donated by the federal government to help cushion the effects of flooding that has ravaged communities in 9 LGAs in Kogi State.
The items include 2,931 12kg bags of rice, 2,931 12kg bags of garri, 2,931 25kg bags of beans, 244 cartons of tomato pastes and 293 – 20 litres of vegetable oil.
Others are 5260 pieces of blankets, 5260 mosquito nets and nylon mats, 4120 bags of cement, 4120 bundles of roofing sheets among others.
In a remark when she visited the Kogi State Governor in his office, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Faruq conveyed President Muhammadu Buhari’s sympathy to persons affected by the flooding.
The Minister acknowledged the devastation caused by the flood noting that the FG through the ministry would support the state to cushion the impact of the disaster on persons and communities across Kogi State.
“Kogi State having the confluence of two major rivers is often exposed to the risk of flooding. And available information shows that this year so far, flood has affected many communities and displaced several persons, some of whom are still being evacuated. President Muhammadu Buhari is concerned about the flood and has directed the Humanitarian Ministry to activate NEMA to respond promptly in providing necessary support to affected states.” She explained.
Hajia Sadiya who said she was in the state to flag off the distribution of the relief materials assured the Governor that NEMA would work with the State Emergency Management Agency to deliver the relief items.
Responding, Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello while appreciating the gesture of the Federal Government in providing the materials sought for assistance in resettlement of displaced communities and reconstruction of infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and roads damaged by the flooding.
“When this water come yearly, it causes some damages we can also salvage but there are certain things the Federal Government can help us with as we can not relocate these communities as most are agrarian who need to return few months later. So, even if it’s from Ecological funds, budget provision should be made to accommodate reconstruction of access roads to aid transportation of cassava, rice paddies, cashew and several other farm produce.”
The Governor noted.
He said the state government was keying into several agricultural programmes by the federal government noting that the farmers needed to be encouraged as the state was working to be self sufficient in food production.
Governor Bello stated that climate change was a reality and that the people and government needed to adopt measures of mitigating its impact.
On the Minister’s entourage were Minister of State, FCT, Hajiya Ramatu Tijani Aliyu and DG NEMA, Retired Air Vice Marshal Muhammadu Muhammed.