The Flood Quick Response Committee responsible for the rehabilitation of last year’s flood victims in Adamawa State has disclosed that the exercise cost the state government about N4.6 Billion.
Chairman of the committee, who is also the secretary to the Adamawa State government, Ari Kobis Thimnu, who made the disclosure said based on reports from the National Meteorological department in Abuja, this year’s impending flood would be more devastating than last year’s.
To prevent damage and loss of lives, Thimnu said that the committee has designated camps for people living in the riverine areas to relocate before the flood as a matter of urgency.
He also stated that the state government has purchased engine powered boats and canoes for the purpose of conveying people in the riverine and other flood prone areas to the strategic designated camps,for safety of lives and properties, while water purification equipment has also been procured to supply portable drinking water in the camps.
Thimnu charged residents living in the river banks to relocate to camps designated for them by the state government to avoid the devastation of flood and a repeat of last year’s havoc,adding that precautionary measures had become necessary from government whose responsibility it is to protect the lives and properties of its citizens.
Besides, the flood response committee chairman said the state government has created some new settlements for the Loko people in Song local government area as well as the Ngbalang people in Lamurde local government area where they should relocate to permanently.
According to him, flooding has become a global reality which required proactive measures not only from those living at the banks of rivers Benue and Gongola, the government, traditional rulers but other stakeholders in Adamawa State to avoid the devastating effects of natural disaster.
“As precautionary measures,the government has designated areas where those living in the flood prone areas can relocate to before the impending flood,as necessary infrastructures have been put in place,security and health facilities arranged for them.” the chairman said
Additionally, he said the states’ traditional rulers have also been mobilized to sensitize their subjects about the impending flood while media jingles were running in the electronic media on the need for people living in flood prone areas to take precautionary measures in that regard.
The chairman lauded the efforts of the Lamido of Adamawa, Uhammadu Barkindo Musdafa for sensitizing his people on the need for them to relocate to the government designated area to forestall the impending doom predicted.
Reports indicate that last year’s flooding was caused by the sudden release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroun without adequate notice to the Adamawa State government to alert its citizens of the impending flood.
Though according to Thimnu, there has not been an official correspondence from the Cameroun Republic, the Flood Quick Response Committee has taken the precautionary measures to avoid the repeat of the devastating effects of last year’s flood.
In spite of these warnings and provisions by the state, some people who live in the riverine areas have been resisting relocation to the designated areas for fear of being separated from their ancestral artifacts, graveyards and other things they considered important.
By Iro Babayola