From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, has said about 10,000 families have been displaced in the state, as a result of the flood disaster that occurred last week.
He made this known, yesterday, when he visited some affected areas and paid a visit to an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in the state capital, Lokoja.
Governor Bello stated that anytime there is heavy downpour, the River Niger always overflowed its bank and the negative effect affects the people.
He added that many communities in Ibaji, Ajaokuta, IgalaMela/ Odolu, Bassa, Koton-Karfi and Lokoja were badly affected by the flood.
The governor called on federal authorities to come to the aid of the state as, according to him, “the state is in dire need of humanitarian intervention” and stressed that thousands of houses were submerged by floods in Lokoja and Ibaji.
Bello described the situation as “desperately pathetic.
“Kogi State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has been stretched to the limit.
“The state government is providing immediate intervention within its financial capacity, but, what government has been able to do is grossly inadequate.
“Apart from Nataco, Sarkin Numa, Ganaja and other areas in Lokoja, where flood have taken over communities; Ibaji communities are completely passing through the fury of the flood that have sacked people from their homes and farmlands. Some people are climbing trees to survive.
“There is an urgent need to relocate the affected people and settle them in camps. We call on the National Emergency Management Agency to quickly come to our aid.
“The state already has a situation room, under the leadership of the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, to collate the realities on ground.
“What we are getting at the moment is of frightening enormity that requires urgent attention.
“Government has all the information that will be required by NEMA; the situation is getting worse by the day.
“As the center of the nation, a locked-in Kogi will affect the entire nation. Roads have been taken over, people now sleep on the streets and nursing mothers are gory sights to behold. We call on federal agencies and the international community to quickly come to our aid…”
He also urged people still living in flooded homes to vacate the area and added that it is unsafe to continue to sleep in flooded apartments.