By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Peterside Dakuku, has said the agency is distributing relief material to the victims of flood in 20 states.
Dakuku spoke when he visited Awka, the Anambra State capital, to donate relief materials worth millions of naira to victims of the 2018 flood in the state.
Some of the items included sewing and grinding machines, mattresses, blankets, diapers, palm and groundnuts oil, detergents, noodles, bags of rice, maize, flour, beans, salt, sugar and table water, among others.
Presenting the items in Awka, Dakuku, who was represented by the Director, Internal Audit in the agency, Mr Victor Onuzuruike, said the distribution was targeted at 20 states, and were meant to cushion the effects of the disaster on the victims.
He said the donation had taken place in 18 states including Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Benue, Kogi, Ondo, Edo, Ogun, Delta and now, Anambra.
“We are here principally to associate ourselves with the calamities that befell our brothers and sisters sometime last year.
“We thought it wise to show concern to alleviate their plights; the items might not really solve all their problems but we believe they will go a long way in touching the lives of many,” he said.
The director-general attributed the late arrival of the items to bureaucracy in the system, promising that it would be corrected next time.
He also promised to return to the state with increased package in view of the enormity of the disaster.
The NIMASA boss said managing over 18,000 persons was not an easy task in terms of accommodation, feeding and other logistics.
He, therefore, urged individuals, churches and corporate organisations to show concern to the flood victims, noting that government alone cannot care for them.
Receiving the items on behalf of the state government, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Paul Odenigbo, expressed appreciation to NIMASA for the gesture.
While assuring the people of proper distribution of the items to the right persons, Odenigbo said the state was already preparing to manage any flood disaster that may occur this year.
“We expect more from them this year because we have been informed of impending flood which we have already made plans to mitigate.
“Last year, about 18,000 persons were displaced by the flood but the state government has already commenced sensitisation of what was required of people living in the riverine areas.
“We are getting the 28 holding camps in the state ready in the event that people will get to use them during flood. They will be taken care of at the camp until the water recedes,” the executive secretary added.