Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed relief materials to about 19,752 persons affected by flooding in communities in Rivers State.
The distribution of the relief materials, which was meant for persons affected by the 2022 flooding and the most vulnerable persons in the state, was supervised by the Special National Economic and Livelihood Emergency Intervention (SNELEI) led by the Director General of NEMA, Mr Mustapha Ahmed.
The Federal Government had approved the intervention specifically for people affected by the 2022 flood disasters and those classified as the most vulnerable persons across the country.
A total of 660,884 households were verified and targeted to benefit from the special intervention across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Speaking during the exercise in Port Harcourt, the Director General of NEMA, Ahmed, said an assessment was carried out by the agency and Rivers State Emergency Management Agency (RSEMA) in the communities and local government areas that were worst hit.
Ahmed, represented by Aikpokpo Ebahi, NEMA Assistant Director and Supervisor SNELEI, Rivers State, revealed that during the assessment period, consideration was given to persons who were displaced and their farmlands and other sources of livelihoods completely devastated.
He said: “Immediately after the flood incident, damage and loss assessment were conducted and relief items approved by the Federal Government were delivered across the states to complement initial intervention by the state government.
“Based on the assessments, which were jointly conducted by the NEMA and State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), the Federal Government approved this special intervention to assist vulnerable persons across the country and those affected by the flood to support their quick return to normalcy.”
According to him, the intervention is also expected to drive the sustainable socio-economic resilience of the targeted most vulnerable individuals.
He said NEMA staff were deployed to conduct the verification of the target beneficiaries in collaboration with personnel from SEMAs, State Agricultural Development Project and other relevant stakeholders.
However, Ahmed advised beneficiaries of the intervention to make proper use of the items to improve their socio-economic conditions.
He said: “The agricultural inputs, such as crop seedlings and equipment are given to take farmers back to the land, stimulate crop production and safeguard our national food security in the middle economic downturn.”
Also speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary of the Rivers State Ministry of Special Duties, Dr Agiriye Harry, appealed to the Federal Government agency to make palliatives ready so that the victims don’t go through so much sufferings while awaiting succour.
He expressed the belief that there is already preparation ahead of the 2023 flooding.
On his part, the Mayor of Port Harcourt, Mr. Allwell Ihunda, thanked the Federal Government under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu for ensuring the relief materials are sent to those affected by flooding that ravaged the state, last year.
Some of the beneficiaries of the relief materials applauded the Federal Government for the intervention.
Mrs Joan Victor, a native of Ahoada in the state, said “We suffered. That period we lost contact with relations, we were displaced because of the flood that took over my community.”