Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has distributed relief materials to 600 residents who lost their homes and other property to floods in 2019.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who flagged off the distribution on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti said the gesture was carried out to cushion the effects of flooding and identify with the victims.
Egbeyemi who was represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Tade Aluko, lauded the efforts of the Governor, Kayode Fayemi, in facilitating the processing and release of the materials through the Presidential Task Force on Flooding.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, the Deputy Governor urged residents to be at alert to the weather forecast of impending flooding in Ado, Irepodun/Ifelodun and Ijero local government areas.
Egbeyemi said the alarm sounded by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on likelihood of floods in September and October with Ekiti as one of the states it would occur in the three council areas was an early warning signal for adequate preparation.
While sympathising with the victims, Egbeyemi noted that though the materials could not replace the total losses suffered from flooding, they were given out to give them relief to mitigate the effects of the disaster.
The Deputy Governor stressed that this year’s rainy season had begun hence the news to take proactive steps to prevent another flood disaster that could wreak havoc on lives and property.
Such steps, according to him, include stoppage of erection of houses in flood-prone areas and desisting from dumping refuse in drainages and other unauthorized places.
Egbeyemi said: “I want to remind you that year 2020 rainy season has begun and I want you all to be at alert to prevent flood disaster this year since the state government has been informed of the impending flooding in three local government areas.
“You should stop the habit of dumping refuse in the drainages and other unauthorized places. You should also discourage people building houses in flood prone areas to prevent flooding.”
The Deputy Governor added that the state government has embarked on dredging waterways in some locations to save residents from flooding in those areas.
The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Mohammed, said the Federal Government would not relent in collaborating with the state governments in giving succour to disaster victims.
Mohammed who was represented by NEMA Zonal Coordinator in charge of Ekiti, Ondo and Osun States, Mr. Segun Afolayan, appealed to the people in the three states to uphold safety regulations to prevent flooding.
The NEMA chief who noted that human factors are parts of triggers of flooding warned residents against building of houses along waterways to prevent loss of lives and property.
The General Manager, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Jide Borode, assured that the state government would not relent in its efforts in alleviating the suffering of disaster victims within the available resources.
While noting that disasters may be natural but their effects could be mitigated through adherence to measures that could prevent their occurrence.