The Federal Government, on Sunday, said the floods ravaging parts of the country have so far claimed 603 lives.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja.
She said, “As of today, the number of persons affected nationwide is 2,504,095. The number of those displaced nationwide is 1,302,589; the number of injuries is 2,407, and the number of deaths is 603.
“The number of houses that are partially damaged is 121,318; the number of houses that are damaged is 82,053; farmlands that are partially damaged, are 108,392 hectares, while damaged farmlands are 332,327 hectares. This is the statistics of today, October 16, 2022.”
She said the government was concerned that despite all our efforts of averting the consequence of the 2022 flooding season, the country had unfortunately recorded the loss of over 600 lives.
She added, “We must initiate a bilateral discussion with authorities in Cameroon next month (November 2022) on the periodic opening of the Lagdo Dam.
“The delegation to Cameroon is to be led by the Permanent Secretary (Humanitarian Ministry) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be requested to facilitate it.”
Farouq insisted that there was enough warning and information about the 2022 flood, stressing that states, local governments and communities appeared not to take heed.
“Thus the meeting agreed to form a high-powered delegation to state governors to advocate for more commitment to strengthen state response mechanisms as stipulated in the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan,” she stated.
She added, “Stakeholders will work within their respective mandates to prevent deaths due to flood or other health-related diseases that are the aftermath.
No fewer than 30 persons are feared dead in Engenni community in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State following the floods ravaging the area.
Also, scores of residents of the area are said to be trapped as the floods sacked their homes, even as they called on the state government to evacuate them.
The convener of the Engenni Ethnic Nationality Forum, Sodin Akiagba, who disclosed this to journalists in Port Harcourt on Sunday, described the situation in Engenni as a humanitarian crisis.
“We have an emergency on our hands because of the flood situation in Engenni in Ahoada West. Over 30 people were feared dead.
“As we speak now, the East-West road is cut off. People trapped in Engenni cannot be assessed. So, we are calling on the Rivers State Government to see how they can synergise with the companies and Bayelsa State Government for proper evacuation of those who are affected by this flood,” Akiagba said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Rivers State Flood Management Task Force, Dr George Nwaeke, has assured victims that Governor Nyesom Wike was prepared to provide succour for them, in addition to the N1bn relief earlier approved.
The Delta State Government has shut down the newly-established Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, in the Isoko North Local Government Area of the state for two weeks as floods ravage the university.
The state Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr Kingsley Ashibogwu, who visited the school for an on-the-spot-assessment of the impact of the flood on the university, said it was no longer safe for students to remain on campus.
Meanwhile, the state government said more camps have been opened to accommodate more victims as many are being displayed
Findings revealed that over 10 persons died in the flood, as six died in Ndokwa East, three in Oshimili South, one in the Isoko axis, and others that were not disclosed.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has called on the Federal Government to declare a national emergency.
He lamented the magnitude of this year’s flood, stressing that it had surpassed that of 2012 in all ramifications.
Diri made the call at an emergency Security Council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, a statement issued on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said.
The Federal Government has distributed food and other relief items to affected persons in Sokoto State.
The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Ahmed, while speaking during the handover of the item to the state government, said it was in line with the assessment conducted and reported to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Some experts have called on the government at all levels to avail the victims of some psychological help.
A Professor of Psychology, Oni Fagboungbe, said “people need the intervention of clinical psychologists who will counsel them out of the experience through systematic dispensation. Also, they need the help of the government and philanthropists.”
Also, an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Lagos, Dr Franca Attoh, said the victims should be availed of psychologists to speed up their healing process.
Attoh said, “With what has happened now, there is no way it wouldn’t affect them and even the rest of us, talking about the multiplier effect. The Minister of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control by now should be telling us the health implications of the flood in the various communities.
“They should be providing the victims with necessities like treated nets. Are there doctors for pregnant women and babies? These are basic things they need at this time.”Follow us on social media