Makurdi, Sept. 2, 2017 (TNE) : The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Saturday donated 27 different items as relief materials to flood victims in Benue and also inspected affected areas.
The Director-General, NEMA, Mr Mustapha Maihaja told newsmen in Makurdi that he is in the state on presidential directives, for the agency to quickly intervene in the Benue flood disaster and see how the victims could be assisted.
Maihaja used the opportunity to extend President Muhammadu Buhari’s heartfelt sympathy to the flood victims in Benue and assured them of the Federal Government determination.
He said that the relief materials are foodstuff like rice, household items and other building materials, adding that after the official assessment of the areas, the exact areas of assistance would be ascertained.
“May I extend the heartfelt sympathy of Mr President to the Government of Benue State and families and all those affected by the flood disaster.
“We are here on a mission from Mr President to visit the flood affected areas and ascertain the level of damage caused by the disaster to enable us to assist the victims in every way possible.
“We brought 27 different relief materials to deliver to the state for onward distribution to the affected victims,” he said.
He said that they are pre-emergency response materials, adding that three trucks are on ground while five are on the way.
The D-G explained that the quantum of destruction could not be ascertained at the moment, adding that his team would be on ground to carry out the data to determine exact quantity.
Maihaja said that the agency had not received any official communication from the Cameroonian government on the possibility of opening Lagdo Dam that caused the 2012 flood.
While in the state, the D-G, visited the IDPs camp at International Market Makurdi and flood affected areas like Radio Benue, Idye village, Welfare Quarters and Guma, Achusa, among others.
Speaking to newsmen, the Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Mr Joseph Utsev admitted that although they were expecting flood this year, not of this magnitude.
Utsev said that Makurdi Township lacks drainages that could direct the flash floods into River Benue, adding that River Benue needs to be dredged to avoid a repetition of the 2012 disaster.
He said that property worth billions of naira had been destroyed among which were households, farmlands and businesses.
The commissioner further appealed to the Federal Government to assist the state with funds for the construction of drainages and dredging of River Benue.
He said that no life was lost since the beginning of flooding this year. (TNE)