Following the recent flood that devastated communities in 9 Local Governments Areas in Benue State, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at the weekend delivered relief items to the Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom for onward distribution to more than 32, 000 persons affected by the flood.
Presenting the relief items to Governor Ortom in Makurdi, Director General of NEMA Muhammad Sani Sidi expressed satisfaction with the positive response of most states government to the flood warning alerts issued by Nimet and NEMA thereby averting more losses. He however, urged the Governors to sustain awareness on the risk of flood in communities living along river plains as well as permanently relocate them to safer higher grounds.
The Director General who was represented by NEMA’s Director of Relief and Rehabilitation Mr Eugene Udemezue Ezeh said a joint assessment carried by NEMA and the Benue State Emergency Management Agency indicated that more than 32, 000 persons were affected by the flood. He also said that the relief items delivered were based on the identified needs of the affected persons and aimed at complimenting the supports of the Benue State Government to them.
Receiving the items, Governor Ortom appreciated NEMA for the prompt response in coming to aid of the flood victims. While assuring that the items would be distributed to the desired beneficiaries, he called on the Federal Government to urgently address the frequent occurrences of flood along the River Benue by constructing a buffer dam to collect excess water from Lagdo dam as well as fast track the dredging of the river.
The Governor immediately handed over the items to the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency Mr Boniface Otise for distribution to the flood affected persons.
The Executive Secretary of Benue SEMA Mr Otise confirmed the items received from NEMA as made up of large quantities of food and non-food items including bags of rice, maize, building materials, mattresses, etc. He said the Agency had obtained approval of the Governor before the official handing over of the items and commenced the distribution to ameliorate the suffering of the affected persons.