Diri okays N450m for displaced flood victims

The Bayelsa State Government has announced the approval of an initial sum of N450m by Governor Douye Diri, for the relocation of persons displaced by the flooding across the state to higher grounds and for the provision of relief materials.

The Commissioner for Environment and Chairman of the state Task Force on Flooding, Mr Iselema Gbaranbiri, said the exercise had commenced immediately and would be carried out on local government basis.

Gbaranbiri, who disclosed this at the end of the 90th State Executive Council Meeting in the government house at Yenagoa, on Wednesday, said that affected persons in Yenagoa Local Government Area would be relocated to the Oxbow Lake area and the state heliport.

He also stated that swamp boogies had been moved to strategic areas in the state capital to open up blocked canals in areas that were mostly impacted.

Gbaranbiri said that in its preliminary report to the governor, the task force identified Ekeremor, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Ogbia, Sagbama, Southern Ijaw and Yenagoa as the worst-hit local government areas.

According to him, the  government was touched by the plight of Bayelsans whose livelihood had been negatively impacted by the flood and that it would ensure affected persons get some form of relief.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Mr Ayibaina Duba, stated that from the committee’s findings, places like Nembe and Brass local government areas that were not impacted in the 2012 flood were affected this time around.

Duba said the government was more concerned about the post-flood season, noting that after the 2020 flooding, the government carried out some pilot projects to control the perennial natural disaster, which he said had yielded positive results.

On his part, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Moses Teibowei, stressed that areas like Opolo and Okutukutu in the state capital which were usually submerged during previous years’ flooding were now safer areas due to the home-grown flood-prevention technology deployed by the state government.

He said the government was ready to replicate same flood mitigation projects in areas like Down Yenagoa, Obele, Arietalin as well as Agudama-Epie, Akenfa, Akenpai and other areas of the state with high-impact flooding.

Teibowei also stated that the flood had affected some roads, particularly the Bulou-Orua area on the Sagbama-Ekeremor road, which had been cut off due to the pressure from the rampaging water.

The commissioner said his ministry had embarked on remedial works on the road and that immediately after the flood, a more lasting solution would be executed as well as building of concrete walls in communities around the Nun and Forcados rivers.

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