Flooding: Bayelsa govt orders workers to stay at home

AS part of measures to mitigate the disaster caused by flooding in Bayelsa State, governor Douye Diri has directed all civil servants, except those on essential duties, to stay at home for one week.

Diri, who gave the directive during a statewide broadcast on Tuesday, said several communities in the state have been submerged by water leading to loss of lives and property.

He also called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of victims in the state.

“I have been on a tour of several of our communities to see first hand the extent of destruction. Our experience has shown that the flood water empties into our state.

“From my personal assessment, the situation is dire. Nearly a million people in over 300 communities in the state have been internally displaced. Unfortunately, some deaths have been reported,” he said.

“The narrative is the same across Sagbama, Ekeremor, Southern Ijaw, Ogbia, Yenagoa, Nembe and Kolokuma Opokuma local government areas. Businesses have been shut, properties lost and farm lands destroyed. We have a humanitarian crisis.

“Critical infrastructure like hospitals, roads, bridges and schools, including the state-owned Niger Delta University, Amassoma, the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, and the University of Africa, Toru-Orua, have been severely affected,” he said

Diri said the flood has made Bayelsa State inaccessible as portions of the East-West Road, the sole access to and from the state, between Ughelli and Patani in Delta State as well as Okogbe and Ahoada in Rivers State have collapsed due to high volume of flood water.

Meanwhile, the governor appealed to vendors, particularly those selling fuel, food, water and pharmaceuticals, not to exploit the situation by increasing the price of goods and services.

The ICIR reported that the Federal Government on Sunday asked Bayelsa and other states to evacuate residents in flood prone areas after the death toll from flooding across the country rose above 600.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who gave an update on Sunday, warned of impending floods in the coming weeks.



    Speaking at a news conference on Abuja on, the minister said state governments, local government areas and community leaders, especially in Anambra, Delta, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa states, should begin evacuation of persons living along water channels and other areas obstructing the flow of water.

    Farouq noted that despite concerted efforts to avert the consequences of the 2022 flooding season as forecast by the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet), many state governments did not prepare for the floods.

    According to her, the failure of state governments to act promptly was why the toll of lives lost and property damaged has risen astronomically.

    The minister said: “Unfortunately, over 603 lives have been lost as of today October 16, 2022. A total of 1,302,589 persons have been displaced, 2,504.095 persons have been affected on the whole, 2,407 persons have been injured, a total of 82,053 houses are completely damaged while 121,318 are partially damaged. 108,392 hectares of farmland were partially destroyed while 332,327 hectares were totally destroyed including many roads and other critical infrastructure.”

    Sinafi Omanga is a journalist with The ICIR. His Twitter handle is @OmangaSinafi and Email: [email protected]

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