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Flooding: Our People Are Helpless, Ubie Monarch Cries Out 

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The Eze Igbu Ubie of Ubie Kingdom of Ahoada West Local Government Area, Eze Okpokiri Maxwell, has blamed the Federal Government for failing to do the necessary things to check the perennial flooding in his kingdom.
Eze Okpokiri, who said this in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, said his people are helpless in the face of the surging water.
“The flooding issue is a very pathetic situation as far as Ubie kingdom is concerned.
“They said we should move to higher grounds, how do we move, who will help us? As far as I am concerned our people are helpless”, he said.
The royal father regretted that Ubie kingdom has not received any assistance from any quarters as far as flooding is concerned, adding that the kingdom has lost property including human lives to flooding.
“Ubie has lost  buildings, farmlands including lives in the last three years to flooding and there is no assistance from any body,” he said.
He said farmers in his kingdom are now in panic mood, adding that some of them have started harvesting crops to avoid being destroyed by the coming waters.
“Our farmers have started harvesting crops that have just been planted”, he said.
He also said the last flooding rendered many of his people homeless, stressing that those affected are yet to recovers even as another flood is coming.
Okpokiri faulted claims by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that relief materials were donated to victims in previous years and said that none of his people received relief materials from any agency.
According to him, as the king of the Ubie kingdom, his palace ought to be aware of any agency or company bringing relief materials to his people. He alleged that materials, if any was given, did not get to the right people.
The king blamed the federal government for not doing enough, stressing that proper attention is not given to the issue in the Orashi region.
It would be recalled that the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) had recently directed communities in the Orashi part of the state to begin to move to higher grounds as the region will be affected by flooding this year.
Some residents of Ubie and Engenni kingdoms who also spoke on the issue said federal government had not helped them during previous floodings.
They called  on the government to dredge the Orashi river to facilitate free flow of waters.

By: John Bibor & Oreoluwa Adigun

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Environment

Delta Harps On Construction Of Dams

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Delta State Goverment says the construction of dams will mitigate flooding in the state.
Commissioner of Information Charles Aniagwu also said the introduction of in-land waterway transportation and dams would mitigate flooding problems, generate electricity and increase productivity in the country.
Aniagwu said this in an interview with The Tide source  on Asaba.
He said the adoption of in-land waterways and the construction of dams would boost economic development by fostering commerce and facilitating the movement of goods, services and people in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government should take steps to dam the river Niger and river Benue to prevent flooding and generate electricity”, he said.
“We noticed that many states have difficulty carrying out agricultural activities during the dry season but with dams that would have ended the lack of water and prevented the magnitude of the flood that would cause trouble to Nigerians.”
Speaking on the recent floods in the country, the commissioner noted that the vulnerable members of the society, especially poor farmers, were at the receiving end of the disaster.
“The amount of money the Federal Government spend is enough to go a long way in preventing this annual flood, individuals have lost a lot of valuables much more than the government has spent.

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Environment

Ecological Office: Reps Task FG On Supplementary Budget

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The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to make an urgent request for a supplementary budget of N100,000,000,00.00 or more, for Ecological Project Office (EPO) as an intervention fund to execute the programs of the agency nationwide with a view to combating ecological challenges created by recent floodings across the country
The House also mandated its Committee on Appropriation to make provision for N200, 000,000,000.00 in the 20023 budget, for the EPO in the Presidency for flood preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery and relief packages ahead of next year.
The House also sought the release of N5,000,000,000.00 into the already created special ecological fund account of each state of the federation and F.C.T, to mitigate the effects of flooding that recently ravaged the entire nation.
These resolutions were reached following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance titled “Need for Strategic Planning and Funding to Prevent the Reoccurrence of Flood and Erosion Disasters in Nigeria in 2023 and Beyond”, brought by Hon. Henry Nwawuba and Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka.
Hon. Nwawuba in his presentation expressed worries over the recent flooding incidents that ravaged the country, saying that the warning by relevant authorities was not heeded.
He said in view of another prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) that another round of flooding was imminent next year, the authorities should take proactive measures.
“We pay deaf ears to the sound and presence of risks associated with flooding. One thing is clear they will surely occur whether we plan for them or not. But, strategic planning and adequate funding will help mitigate the effects and facilitate quick and better recovery of lives, properties, economy and overall environment.

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Environment

NEMA SpendsN112bn On Disaster Management

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)  has said it spent N112.13 billion from consolidated accruals and ecological fund utilisation on disaster management in the country from 2011-2022.
This is just as members of the House of Representatives Committee on Ecology expressed displeasure with the disclosure by Ahmed Mustapha, the Director General of NEMA that the agency reached out to over 1,427,370 persons displaced by the flood disaster across the nation.
Mustapha, who appeared before the committee which is investigating the total consolidated accruals and utilisation of ecological fund, said unlike other appropriated finance, balances from the funds are rolled over to a next fiscal year.
The director-general told the committee that documents for
the 2010 expenditure were not available as they were destroyed during the #ENDSARS protests, and police extract to that effect has been obtained.
He lamented that 2022 flood disaster was the worst flood disaster in the history of Nigeria, saying it was far more devastating than the 2012 flood which was hitherto considered unprecedented in the country’s history.
“As predicted, the 2022 flood hit the country with devastating consequences, impacted thousands of communities and wreaked havoc in all the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT. A total of 612 persons lost their lives, 3,219,780 persons were affected, 1,427,370 persons were displaced and 2,776 others suffered various degrees of injuries.
“A total of 181,600 houses were partially damaged and 123,807 houses were totally damaged. A total of 176,852 hectares of farmland were partially destroyed while 392,300 hectares of farmland got totally destroyed as a result of the floods,” Mustapha said.
The NEMA boss also said the provision of food and non-food items for immediate relief and building materials to facilitate long term rehabilitation of those affected by flood was ongoing.
But Oghuma Johnson (APC, Edo), a member of the committee who frowned at Mustapha’s statement, accused NEMA of favouring a particular region of the country in their relief materials distribution selection process.
The lawmaker, who later staged a walk out, said the director general was partial as the impact of their distribution claims was not seen or felt in his constituency and Edo State as a whole.

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