Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Thousands of residents who were sacked by the recent flood disaster across some communities in Delta State have been sent back to flood ravaged communities, after taking temporary abode for about six months at emergency holding camps created in upland communities by the state government.
But the victims got a package of N20,000 each and other relief materials as parting gifts, provided by both the federal and state governments. The two level of governments provided N10,000 each.
Commissioner for Special Duties and chairman of the flood management committee, Ernest Ogwezzi provided each family with a bag of rice, and a certificate to those that acquired skills in industrial training, hairdressing and catering while they were in camp waiting for the flood to recede.
Ogwezzi said he was satisfied that the flood victims were happy.
“They were properly taken care of while here, and they never had anything to complain that was unattended to, while their stay here and across the state lasted.
“You can see the joy and the atmosphere here. Of course, if the situation is to the contrary, you would have seen it in them, because we don’t pretend when things are not the way it should be.“
To make their stay memorable,those of them in this camp were taken through skills acquisition by the camp supervisor, Benedicta Osakunih, a Special Assistant to the Governor on Child Care Development and Liaison officer on NGOs.
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“You saw them displaying what they have learnt, which include soap making, creams, custards,catering and hairdressing among others. It was an interesting experience.”
High point of the day was the do-nation of foodstuff and household items by Ndokwa Progressive Forum (NPF). It included 50 bags of 50kg bags of rice, 50 bags of 50kg bags of beans, 150 pieces of mattresses, 150 mosquito nets and 400pairs of slippers distributed to those affected in Kwale, Ashaka holding camp and Obetim community camp.
Handing over the items to the state government, Director General of NPF, Ifemeni explained that the gesture was occasioned by the vision of the group’s president, Chief Uwaka Otunuya “who died on Saturday, October, 27, a day to when the consignments he had procured through Sir Kessington Adebutu,donated to commemorate his 83rd birthday.
“We are fulfilled with this donation. We at NPF are continuing with his dream of caring for those in need, and helping to position them to a point where they can join in building an Ndokwa of our dream.“Building an Ndokwa, whose political relevance has come to stay with Okowa 2019, which as our immediate project, a reason,our late leader listened to the call for support by the state, to procure these items.”
Receiving the materials, Ogwezzi expressed his appreciation to the group, saying, “we are grateful for the relief materials your group, NPF has presented here today, remarkably on our official closing ceremony, as we bid the IDPs bye with cash and relief materials. I assure you that they will not be mismanaged, and that it will be judiciously utilised for the purpose it was meant to achieve in the state.”
Supervisor of the Kwale and Ashaka holding camps, Benedicta Osakunih said it has been awesome and interesting “working with these wonderful downtrodden people in the camps, and seeing to their needs in line with the SMART Agenda of Governor Okowa.“
All these began with a distressed call about their situation as flood submerged their homes and properties, which led to the setting up of camps within 24 hours by the governor who mandated the state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), his appointees and elected officials to take charge of those in the camps.
“Today, we are winding up by ensuring that a total of 150 of the IDPs were trained in industrial training, hairdressing and catering. The purpose is to fulfill the governor’s mandate of one-man-one-skill.
“These people left their comfort zone as flood ravaged even their crops for this season, so the governor directed that if they have to go back, as the flood has receded, perhaps they are going to meet nothing to fall back to. So the best bet is to give them a skill they can fallback to.
“I am glad we did our best to provide them that enabling environment they needed to ameliorate their sad experience of residing away from their ancestral home,due to the natural disaster.”