*Distribution of food items to private camps begin
*Flooding would be prevented if ecological funds are properly channeled
Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa and Ugo Aliogo in Lagos
No fewer than 15 babies have been delivered at the Ox-bow Lake Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camps and other camps scattered across the state within the last two weeks as a result of the ravaging flood that submerged virtually the entire state.
Among them were three sets of twins, a triplets and other single babies were delivered across both at the government camps and private camps.
According to the Chairman of Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (BYSEMA), Igrubia Wallama, the children and their mothers are in good health.
He said the government was doing its best to give them the best care needed.
This was just as the body responsible for the mitigation and management of the natural disaster announced that it has commenced distribution of food items to private IDP camps in the state capital.
Among places the committee headed by the Commissioner for Environment, Iselema Gbaranbiri, distributed palliatives to include the IDP camps at the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Issac Boro College of Education, the St Mathias Catholic Primary school, among others.
The BYSEMA chairman while briefing journalists on the distribution of relief materials to some of the private IDP camps within the Yenagoa metropolis, said the initial distribution by the sub-committee didn’t get to the people as expected.
He said, “for sure, not everybody can get to government created IDP camps. Some people decided to stay back by finding a higher ground and organised themselves a camps.
“The first relief materials we distributed, most of them were not captured because we didn’t know the pattern the sub-committee were using and so there were a lot of complains here and there from the private IDP camps that the thing didn’t go down well with them.
“So, we decided to go back to the drawing board, made some investigations and came out with some identified clusters and picked a handful of them and that is what the central committee is doing by reaching out to them and to let them know that government also feel their pain.
“We are starting with Yenagoa metropolis and I think after this exercise, the complains will be reduced.”
Igrubia said same thing would be replicated at various local government level where the sub-committee would identify some private IDP camps and supply them food items.
“Whether they are in the camp or on the streets, if they are displaced they are displaced and besides, almost everybody’s is affected. So in any way the committee can reach out, we will do it. The only thing we cannot do right now is going from door to door, but if they come together and form a camp, we will give them relief materials,” he said.
Also speaking, the chairman of the 2022 Floods and Mitigation Committee, Hon. Iselema Gbaranbiri said the committee have been able to gathered some relief materials from both air and the waterways as a result of the N900 million released in two tranches by the governor to the committee.
He said most of the items have been distributed to the local government areas through the sub-committee, adding that they are still procuring more items within and outside the state.
“But the central committee is distributing some food items like garri, rice, beans amongst others to private IDP camps which we identified as clusters within the metropolis.
“The one handled by the sub-committee did not trickle down to them and we felt that as a central committee, we should also go to the private IDP camps and homes where people gathered together,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Lagos State Electoral Commission, Justice Ayotunde Philips, has blamed the federal government for improper management of the ecological funds, noting that if the funds was judiciously utilised, Kogi State and some others would not be devastated by the massive flooding witnessed in the country.
Philips, who disclosed this yesterday, in Lagos, during the Fund Raising and Installation ceremony of Lion Jude Obaro Onohwosa as the 57th President of Lagos Doyen Lions Club District 404 Ai Nigeria, said in like manner, if the Lagos State government had taken the issue of drainage and sewage management seriously and committed funds provided as it should, the state would not be a nightmare during raining season.
She also stated that the cost of governance in Nigeria was unusually high, because there is poverty of the mind prevalent in the generality of Nigeria.
“If we understand that the person we put in authority through our votes and electioneering process will seriously impact our development and livelihoods; we will be more careful,” she said.
Philips, who was represented at the event by the Toyin Bashorun, said all sorts of illness were traceable to bad governance and the prevailing infrastructure deficit that the country was experiencing presently.
She charged the Lions Clubs to organise specific and purposeful outreaches which tailored to address certain peculiarities in the society.
According to her, “If the Lions Club can commit to developing human capital, organising programmes directed at influencing our thoughts system and daily activities, then our adventure, our attitude will change and we will be in a position to make meaningful impact wherever we find ourselves.”
In his acceptance speech, the President of Lagos Doyen Lion Club, Lion Jude Obaro Onohwosa, expressed delight to be elected as the 57th president of Lagos doyen Lions Club for 2022/2023, adding that he is aware of the enormous responsibility and expectations of this positions, “I pray for God’s wisdom to discharge my duties with integrity.”
He added: “Many of our guests are aware that this is a fund raising and installation ceremony, we are here today hoping and trusting in your support to raise funds 1,000 cataract surgical operations for the less privilege, 30,000 per surgery.
“We are praying to raise N30, 000,000. The fund-raising speaker today, Lion Dr. Abiola Oyeleye, is the President of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (OSN) with his support we have mobilised ophthalmologists who have agreed to carry out the surgeries for N30, 000 per surgery.”