Nigerian govt insensitive to flooding menace —Bayelsa dep gov

The Bayelsa State Government has urged the federal government to quit making empty gestures over flood mitigation and control in states that will suffer from the threat this year, as predicted by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency.

The state’s deputy governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the call when a joint delegation from the International Organisation for Migration, United States Agency for International Development, and the National Emergency Management Agency paid him a visit on Monday at the Government House in Yenagoa

This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by his media assistant, Mr. Doubara Atasi, who noted that the deputy governor expressed worry that the Federal Government and its agencies were unconcerned about the situation of the people living in flood-prone states

Ewhrudjakpo described the Federal Government’s lackadaisical approach as alarming and argued that the nation didn’t seem to have learned any lessons from the devastating floods that struck many communities in 2012 and 2022, killing numerous people and destroying their homes.

The deputy governor who slammed the FG for only being adept at issuing flood alerts, claimed that depending constantly on foreign aid from international organisations was not only demeaning but also anti-development.

He therefore urged all pertinent parties to offer sustainable homegrown solutions to the flooding issue, which was quickly taking on a perennial dimension

Ewhrudjakpo said, “The response from the Federal Government as far as we are concerned has not risen to the level that will convince us that they took what happened in Bayelsa State seriously.

“We are aware that immediately after the flood, about N800bn was requested from the National Assembly for emergency maintenance of roads, infrastructure and other facilities that were badly affected.

“Until now, the Port Harcourt to Warri section of the East West road, which I traveled through recently, is still very bad and the same Federal Government, as usual, is only predicting that this year’s flood would be worst than last year.

“We are not persuaded at all by the reaction of the Federal Government, and I am directing this to NEMA; we do not think that your fire brigade approach has changed anything.

“We must make concerted effort. The President gave ninety days ultimatum to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to come out with plans to see how we can mitigate and avoid a repeat of what happened in 2012. But as far as I know, that issue is still in the pipeline

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