Rivers, Bayelsa Govts Move To Check Flooding


As rainfall increases in different parts of the country, the Rivers State Government has called on residents of the five flood prone local government areas in the state to identify higher grounds in their councils to be used as muster points for evacuation, in the event of severe flooding.

According to the State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Dickson Umunakwe, the call was informed by the 2013 imminent flood prediction by the National Metrological Agency, NIMET and the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.

Speaking at a flood sensitisation programme in Abua/Odual and Ogba/ Egbema/ Ndoni Local Government Area secretariat, Umunakwe said early preparation will help minimise the problems associated with flood challenges.

He identified human activities as the main cause of flooding. He said clogging of drainage with refuse, building over drainages and erecting structures on shoreline were the major causes of flooding, noting that these factors hinder the smooth flow of water and warned against such practices.

Umunakwe said that the government would deploy six flying boats to each of the five prone councils for quick evacuation, adding that a marine ambulance would be stationed at the Orashi River in Ahoada West Local Government Area of the state.

“The former camp sites used last year will be better equipped and we will also partner relevant ministries, including Power, Water, Health, Environment and Housing, which will provide the needed facilities to cater for the needs of the flood victims at the camps.”

In like manner, Bayelsa State, the government has commenced the building of shelters in the eight local government areas of the state in anticipation of the predicted heavy rainfall and its attendant flooding in the coastal states by the Nigeria Metrological Agency, NIMET.

It was gathered the Governor of the state Seriake Dickson, had already released the sum of N500 million to the state infrastructural advisory committee for the proposed shelters in the rural areas of the state.

The committee was set up in the aftermath of last year’s flood with a view to avoiding a repeat of the near humanitarian crisis that rocked the state.

Hundreds of thousands of families were displaced across the state during last year’s flood with majority of the victims moved to Yenagoa and quartered in schools, which were hurriedly converted to camp for the internally displaced persons, a development that forced the government to close all schools in the state, a situation the government wouldn’t want a repeat of.

The governor had described the last year flood as a natural calamity, lamenting that Bayelsa is a flood plan state where heavy rains always causes havoc to the residents.

“We shall take the issue of flooding very seriously to savee our communities and people,” the governor had said.