Flooding: 96 persons die,1.3 million displaced in Bayelsa

ABOUT 96 persons died while 1.3 million others were displaced by floods in Bayelsa State.

The Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (BYSEMA) disclosed this in a statement.

Bayelsa is among the states that were ravaged by floods in recent weeks.


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BYSEMA Chairman Walamam Igrubia, in the statement released in Yenogoa, said those displaced by the floods have been forced to seek refuge in temporary camps.

“As at November 4, 96 deaths were reported with Yenagoa Local Government Area worst hit,” Igrubia said.

The collation of data from the field is still ongoing, according to the BYSEMA chairman.

“The flood affected a number of farmlands, school buildings, health structures and other facilities. The flood also affected some 300 communities across the eight LGAs of the state.

“Preliminary reports and data available to BYSEMA and other agencies indicate that Bayelsa remained the most flood impacted among states in the country,” he said.

BYSEMA listed the worst affected areas in the state as Biseni, Tombia-Ekpetiama, Tombia-Amassoma Road, Akenfa, Akenpai, Igbogene and Swali, all in Yenagoa Local Government Area, as well as Kaiama, Odi, Otuoke and Ogbia communities.

Others are Agbere, Odoni, Bulu-Oria, Agoro and Sagbama.

Other states affected by flooding include Kogi, Benue, Ebonyi, Anambra, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Imo, Abia, Edo, Delta, Kogi and Plateau.

Parts of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were also affected by flooding.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said about 603 persons were killed by flooding across the country. About 2.5 million persons were displaced.

The Bayelsa State Government had earlier slammed the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, for claiming that the state is not one of the worst hit by flooding in 2022.

Speaking at the 56th session of the State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the minister said Jigawa State is the most affected by the disaster.

“It will interest you to know that Bayelsa is not even among the 10 most hit (states). I think Jigawa is number one and we have taken intervention to Bayelsa and it’s still ongoing,” Farouq said.

The Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Ayibaina Duba, who spoke on behalf of the Bayelsa State government, said the minister’s claim was disheartening but not surprising.

The commissioner accused the minister of relying on bogus data.

A statement issued by the commissioner on behalf of the Bayelsa State government, in response to the minister’s claims, read, “The attention of the Bayelsa State Government has been drawn to the spurious claim by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq that Bayelsa State is not one of the ten most impacted states by the 2022 flood.

“The Minister’s claim is disheartening but not surprising. The slow response to the humanitarian crisis arising from the flood despite the President’s directive for her to come to the aid of the state is indeed a confirmation of our belief that the Federal Ministry and its agencies have abandoned their responsibility and are not interested in managing the disaster.

“Indeed, the Minister is already turning into part of the disaster she was appointed to manage.

“She had earlier claimed that only four Local Government Areas of the state were impacted by the unprecedented flood.

“She was obviously relying on a bogus data in contradiction of the clear reality that every local government in the state is impacted by the flood in varying degrees.

“The way the minister has treated our state is so unfortunate that our people are beginning to doubt that we are part of Nigeria. She sat comfortably in Abuja to determine the most flooded!!!

“Is it not curious that since the devastation occasioned by the flood occurred a month ago, no representative of the FG has visited our state to assess the situation?

“The Federal Government has not shown the minutest of empathy since this monumental devastation hit our state.

“And we are asking, is Bayelsa State still part of Nigeria? Are we only important when it is time to exploit the resources in our land?

“If the humanitarian minister is sincere, let her tell Nigerians the relief materials brought to the state and who received them.

“The Minister and Indeed the Federal Government are not fair to our people who have undergone trauma of losing loved ones, homes and livelihood.

 

“In fact, the minister’s bogus data with which she came to the conclusion that Bayelsa was not even one of the ten most impacted contradict basic science, common sense, concern and kindness.

 

“How can a state up North, Jigawa, be worst impacted when indeed Bayelsa State has the unfortunate responsibility of receiving the flood water that ran through more than 15 states?




    “The data used by the Federal ministry to arrive at the conclusion is suspect and erroneous.

    “How was it arrived at? By sitting in an office and conjuring figures?

    “By the reality on ground, over 300 communities were impacted by the flood and almost a million people were displaced from their homes, many of them losing their livelihood, in Bayelsa State. And no other state in the Federation is so impacted.

    “If the Minister is desirous of doing a good job, she should leave her cozy office in Abuja and come to Bayelsa State to ascertain the truth, even as the flood began to recede.”

    A reporter with the ICIR
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