The Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has donated relief materials to victims of flood disaster in 10 local government areas of Kogi.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, disclosed this during a ceremony to mark the distribution of the items at Government House, Lokoja.
Farouq said that she was in Kogi to convey the sympathy of the Federal Government to the Government and people of the State over the flood that occurred in some areas of the State.
“Kogi State, having the confluence of the two major Rivers; Niger and Benue is often exposed to the risk of flooding.
“Available information indicates that this year so far, flood has affected many communities and displaced many persons, some of whom are still being rescued and evacuated from water-trapped areas.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is concerned about the flood and has directed the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to activate the National Emergency Management Agency to provide necessary supports to persons affected by the floods,” she said.
She said that the relief items were approved to complement the efforts of the State Government in providing succour to the affected persons in 10 local government areas of the state.
According to the minister, the areas are: Ibaji; Lokoja; Kogi; Bassa; Ajaokuta; Igalamela/Odolu; Idah; Ofu; and Omala local governments.
She said that items to be delivered “before the end of this week” were: 2,931 (12.5kg) bags of rice; 2,931 (12.5kg) bags of garri; 2,931 (25kg) bags of beans; 488 cartons of seasoning; and 244 cartons of tomato paste.
“Others are: 293 (20 Litres) kegs of vegetable oil; 146 (20kg) bags of salt; 117 bags of sugar; 5,260 pieces each of mattresses; blankets; mosquito nets; and nylon mats,
“The items also include 4,120 bags of cement; 4,120 bundles of roofing sheets; 4,120 pieces of ceiling board; 1,373 packets of zinc nails; and 458 bags of 3 inch nails,” she said.
Farouq reassured Gov. Yahaya Bello that NEMA staff would work with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) throughout the period of the flood.
She also, on behalf of the Federal Government, launched the relief distribution to the flood affected persons.
In his remarks, Gov. Bello on behalf of the people of the state, thanked President Buhari for the gesture and for always listening to the yearnings of Nigerians.
He noted that the perennial flooding was a natural disaster, adding that Kogi was always the worst hit, especially being a confluence State.
He stressed the need for the state to always get double of relief materials given to other States due to the peculiarity of its geographical location.
“We want to sincerely appreciate the federal government but we request for more.
“We want provision from Federal Government to accommodate construction and reconstruction of the eroded roads and infrastructure in those critically affected local government areas washed away by flood.
“We have always followed all the policies of the federal government in ensuring that we produce what we eat; we are empowering our people through agriculture,” the governor said.
He also thanked the minister for all the humanitarian packages under the National Social Investment Programme which many Nigerians especially those from Kogi had benefited from.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NEMA is responsible for bringing the relief materials to Kogi, while the Minister inaugurated the distribution on behalf of the federal government.
NAN also reports that the minister was accompanied by the Director-General of NEMA, retired AVM Muhammadu Muhammed ; Minister of State FCT, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, among others.