*Displaced persons express appreciations, urge govt to do more
*410,000 litres of petrol arrive Yenagoa to curtail scarcity
*Emeka Offor Foundation donates to Anambra flood victims
Olusegun Samuel, Yenagoa and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
There was mixed emotions at the Oxblow lake camp of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as the Bayelsa State government began the winding up of the camps in the state as the flood which ravaged the communities for over a month begin to recede gradually.
This was just as a non-governmental organisation, the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF) has decried the level of devastation caused by the 2022 flood in Anambra State.
In Bayelsa, THISDAY monitored the final evacuation of the over 12, 000 IDPs and found that many of the displaced persons were emotional as they packed their belongings and their families for the journey back home.
Some of them who spoke with THISDAY, however, expressed appreciation to the state government led by Governor Douye Diri, while some asked for some more packages to take home to help them adjust before they would begin a new life in their various communities and homes.
One of the IDPs, Mrs. Helen Olowu, said, “Let the governor help us; our father is Douye Diri; let him assist us, we are going home, we cannot go home without a garri or rice, even if is some cups, at least something that we can carry home in order to begin our life. Let him help us, we need his help.
“But for now, there’s nothing that we have seen, we have a card that they give to us in the night, they said we should hold on to that card; that is the card that we are holding that will qualify us to get something today, but we have not collected anything till now.”
Another departing IDP, Favour Christopher, thanked the government, especially Diri, for his care, his support and “everything he has done for us, he is trying and he has tried for us.”
“As we are going, I just want him to renovate the place for us, I mean the ox-bow lake and I also want him to help some of us because as we are going, we don’t have anything, we are just going empty handed, no sharing of anything, people are even angry so I want him to come to their aid.
“My experience here was both good and bad because to some extent it was good and to some extent it was bad because of how we were treated here. Some people were treated like they were not human beings, some were treated like celebrities, some were not fed well because sometimes the food come late. Like now, we have not even eaten our breakfast, we are still waiting and its almost noon,” she added.
However, some of the little kids still felt they needed to spend some more time at the camps because of the quality of food they ate twice a day and the freedom to explore new relationships offer in the camp.
For instance, seven years old Joshua Adaka, said he does not want to go home because the camp was safe and comfortable because there is assurance of food, medicine and they others amenities they have there is better that what his parents can afford at home.
“I don’t want to go home yet, they should extend it to maybe next year because I am having a nice time here, the food, my friends, I don’t want to miss any. I am not going anywhere yet, I want to stay here.”
The camp coordinator and a member of the State flood mitigation and management task force, Ebiwou Koku-Obiyai, said the state government was gradually winding up the camps to return people to their normal lives so that government could move into the next phase of action for the citizens.
Ebiwou, who spoke after a thanksgiving service to end the closing of the camp at Oxbow pavilion, said the closing of the camps does not mean that the state government had ended its supports to the flood victims, adding that the food task force would continue its job of making sure that palliatives get across to every victim.
Meanwhile, the state government as part of the measures to curtail fuel scarcity and ameliorate the suffering of people has purchased 410,000 litres of petrol to the state.
THISDAY gathered that though the flood in the state was receding, the damaged done to the roads across the state makes it difficult for fuel and other essential products to come into the state by road, a situation that caused fuel to be sold ranging from N300 to N800 per litre.
Receiving the barge at Swali jetty yesterday on behalf of the state government, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Dr. Ebieri Jones, said the effort was to help ease the biting fuel scarcity affecting the state.
According to him, the product which was purchased in Port Harcourt by the Bayelsa State Government, would be distributed to the filling stations in the state to sell at government approved price until the condition of East-West road comes to normal.
NGO Decries Flood Devastation in Anambra, Donates to Victims
Meanwhile, a non-governmental organisation, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF) has decried the level of devastation caused by the 2022 flood in Anambra State.
The foundation regretted that the devastation did not only affect the homes of the victims, but also farmlands and their farm produce.
A representative of the founder of the foundation, Retired AIG, Chris Ezike stated this when he led other members of the foundation to donate food items, bedding and other household items to the Anambra State government for the flood victims.
Handing the materials to Governor Chukwuma Soludo, Ezike expressed sadness at the disaster, saying the donation was meant to mitigate the sufferings of the victims of flood in the state.
He said: “We are here to commiserate with His Excellency Prof. Charles Soludo, government and people of Anambra State on the recent flood disaster which ravaged about seven local government councils in the state.
“This unmitigated disaster left some citizens dead, devastated homes, families and farmland and dislocated over 40,000 Anambrarians and residents, forcing the state government to create about 30 emergency IDP camps located in about seven local government councils of the state.”
He added that the founder and management of the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation approved the donation of relief materials to the government of the state for onward distribution to the victims of flood disaster.
He also disclosed that with the statistics from the state Emergency Management Agency, the foundation had developed a distribution profile to ensure that the items get to victims without transportation and logistics challenges.
Items donated included: 600 bags of rice, 60 bags of beans, 60 bags of garri, 500 pieces of mattresses, 500 cartons of noodles, 600 tubers of yams, 50 cartoons of tomatoes.
Others were: 30 cartons of bathing soap, 30 cartons of washing soap, 30 gallons of palm oil, 30 cartons of beverages, 30 cartons of milk, 50 gallons of vegetable oil, 10 bags of salt and 10 cartons of maggi cubes.
He also stated that the foundation had shar