by Stanley Azuakola
Nigeria does not keep accurate records. If we did, perhaps it might have recorded whether the nation has ever experienced this much flooding in its history. The extent of the flooding has taken the entire nation by surprise, which is an irony, considering that meteorologists had warned as far back as the first quarter of 2012 that there would be an unprecedented level of flooding this year.
The flood rampage continued its journey south this week as it hit Edo and Bayelsa States. Properties worth billions was destroyed by the floods, however no death has been recorded as a result in the two states.
In Edo State, it was a touching scene when the Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole yesterday visited the victims of the flood-ravaged communities in Etsako Central, Etsako East, and Esan South East Local Government Areas of the state in a canoe. Touched by their plight, he ordered the immediate release of N100 million to provide relief materials to victims of the flood-ravaged communities.
“What has happened is an act of God and no one can challenge the will of God. In other parts of the country, we have heard of the loss of lives, but so far we have not recorded any death. Let us pray that the river goes back to its boundary,” the governor said.
“As a government we will try as much as possible to reduce the hardship suffered by the people by providing relief materials. What we cannot change we will bear it. President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government are concerned about this calamity.”
He told them that the calamity would soon be over and they would return to their fatherland.
On relief, he said: “We are sending relief materials which must be shared to everybody irrespective of which political party they belong to, and doctors will be sent to treat those who are sick. We are also sending the Comrade Buses to evacuate those still in the flooded communities to the camp.”
The ravaging flood which has taken over twenty communities with a population of over 500,000 persons, destroyed virtually everything in the affected areas including, buildings, house hold properties and food crops in their farmlands. At the Ekperi Grammar School, Ugbekpe Ekperi, there were over 60, 000 refugees from Yuluwa village, Ofukpo, Agbabu, Iguzi-Ofukpe, Udaba, Unudoboh, Udaba-Ogho, Anegette all in Etsako Central.
In Bayelsa, the floods submerged five schools and displaced more than 350 families in Sagbama and Tungbo, both in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.
The submerged schools include Community Secondary School, Obuware; Community Primary School, Indiamazi; Government Comprehensive Secondary School; Community Primary School in Tungbo; and Agua Memorial Nursery/Primary School, at Obuware in Sagbama.
The Chairman of Sagbama, Tony Ogullah, said he would conduct an assessment tour of the LGA to get statistics of number of flood-affected communities for possible distribution of relief materials. He also said that the council would seek aid from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and other relevant authorities as the situation is beyond the council.