Flood washes away corpses at Bayelsa Cemetery

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has called on the federal government to build new dams and dredge major rivers in the country to control flooding.
Okowa, who made the appeal as he spoke to reporters after visiting flood victims in some camps for internally displaced people (IDPs), said five people had lost their lives in the floods in the state.
He also urged the federal government to make efforts to de-silt the Niger and Benue rivers to deepen their depths to accommodate a high volume of flood water.
He said the best way to end the loss of lives and valuables from floods is for the government to take proactive measures to block perennial floods whenever neighboring countries open their dams.
He sympathized with the families who lost people and property in the floods, adding that the state government had established 11 detention camps to take care of the displaced people.
He said daily feeding of displaced people was a priority and that medical facilities and personnel were in various camps to meet the medical needs of detainees to avert a possible disease outbreak.
“I was briefed by the Secretary of State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, when the team informed me on Monday, that as a result of the flooding five deaths have been recorded, not to inside the camps but across the state.
“We have 11 camps that are currently in place and some of them are in schools and some are up high in some places where schools have been taken over by flood waters.
“Climate change, obviously, is becoming very impactful on a global scale and it’s starting to affect a lot of issues. Sea levels are rising and so is water level.
“Another problem is the dam in Cameroon. This always causes a major overflow in our river.
“From the preliminary information I have, what could be done is to build our own check dams here in Nigeria and regular de-silting of our rivers.
“And, that will not be the function of the state government. It is that of the federal government because of the type of dam that will be built on the river. So it will be a major roadblock.
“So I think it’s important for the federal government to look at this very quickly and start getting the process started,” he said.
“When we look at the sufferings suffered by our people as a result of the floods and the destruction they cause, they are so enormous and number in the billions.
“So I think it’s something the federal government would consider building a dam on the Niger River to prevent that from happening,” Okowa said.
“We immediately take care of the people in the camp, which is the first thing to do by providing them with food, security and health care here.
“They have been organized into groups and they cook for themselves and we ensure that there is a steady supply of food to cook with, so we are sure that they are not suffering from any form of hunger.
“We can see doctors and nurses here, living in the same conditions as displaced people just to provide health care. In two of the camps, some pregnant women have already been delivered by medical personnel.
“You can see they are well taken care of. In previous years after they returned to their homes, we have always provided some form of assistance and we will do so this year as well.
“We are always compassionate,” the governor said.
He called on donor agencies and spirited individuals to partner with the government to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the floods, adding that his administration would help them.
Camps visited by the governor included those at Ogbe-Afor Primary School and Oneh Primary School in Asaba and Ewulu Co-educational High School, Ewulu in Aniocha South Local Government Area.
The Ogbe-Afor primary school camp has 1,548 IDPs, the Oneh primary school has 1,684 IDPs and 1,475 in Ewulu camp.


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