Kwara State Government Wednesday distributed relief materials worth N25 million to victims of flood disasters in five local areas of the state. Among the materials distributed were 900 bags of rice, 900 bags of cement, 400 pieces of blanket, 1,000 pieces of mattresses, 1,000 pieces of wax prints (ankara), 400 pieces of plastic buckets and 1,000 pieces of fishing nets.
Speaking during the exercise, chairman of the committee set up by the state government to oversee distribution of relief materials to victims, Alhaji Mohammed Dabarako, said the gesture was meant to bring succour to the victims.
Dabarako who is also the state’s Head of Service (HOS), said the materials were meant for victims at Patigi, Edu, Moro, Kaiama, and Ilorin South local councils of the state.
The HoS added that the gesture was not part of Federal Government’s N300 million offer of assistance to flood victims in the state.
He also called on the Federal Government to make its own relief materials available to the state on time to avoid complicating the plighst of the flood victims and disclosed further that as part of measures aimed at preventing future disaster and sustaining rice production in the affected areas, the Federal Government should extend dredging of River Niger from Lokoja to Jebba in the state adding that the dredging should extend to River Benue.
While appealing to the Federal Government to construct dams, Dabarako said: “When the dredging is done, the water will go down and the farmers may not have enough water to do farming again. But once you have dams in place, you can do farming twice or thrice and it will lead to increase in production as we desire in this country.”
Speaking on resettlement of the victims, Dabarako said the lifestyle of the people was associated with water and hence, their resettlement would be temporal adding that the victims will not stay upland when resettled there permanently.