About 104 lives have been lost and more than 50,000 people displaced by the ravaging flood in the north central area of the country in the last two months, the Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for the zone, Mr. Mohammed Abdulsalam has said.
He said at a workshop on “Awareness, Preparedness and Response to Emergencies At Local Levels” holding in the Plateau State capital that the lack of proper coordination of emergency response to the disaster had compounded the problem.
Abdulsalam said: “Lack of collaboration and cooperation and weak coordination is the bane of disaster management in Nigeria. Diverse stakeholders operate in isolation with neither collaboration nor co-ordination. This often leads to inefficiency in the use of scarce resources, overlapping of activities, duplication of action and general confusion”.
While describing the flood that has so far affected about 150,000 people in the zone as unfortunate, he noted that it has overwhelmed states and local governments in terms of emergency management.
He said the Federal Government through NEMA has so far spent more than N300 million on relief materials and medicaments, among others, to ease the pain of the victims who are mostly women and children, adding that the flooding problem which has affected 26 states in the country was worsened by the release of water from various dams and the blockage of drainage system in many places.
Hoodlums loot, vandalize homes vacated by flood victims
WOES of victims of the Makurdi flood disaster were compounded, yesterday, as hoodlums looted and vandalized the houses they vacated as a result of the flood.
The houses ransacked and looted by the rogues included those located on Gyado Villa, Judges Quarters Annexe and some before the Benue State University Teaching Hospital. Owners of the looted property who lamented their predicament, said those behind the wicked act were inhuman and insensitive to their plight.
Joseph Ikor, whose partially submerged house located at Gyado Villa area of the town, told reporters: “Some of us vacated our houses because we didn’t want to be taken unawares like some of the victims who lost everything to the flood.
“But to our surprise, we came to see if the water is rescinding only to discover that fans, widows, doors, air conditioners and some other materials have been removed from our houses by unknown persons.
“It is just unfortunate and saddening, we thought people should be sympathizing with us rather than adding to our pains and sorrow.”
Also lamenting, Joseph Usher who disclosed that vandals removed roofing sheets from his submerged houses at the Judges’s Quarters annexe area of the town, noted that those behind the looting of their houses were adding to the pains of the flood victims, advising that security agents should intensify patrols around Makurdi town.
Reacting to the unfortunate development, the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Public Utilities, Mr. Gadaffi Asemanya, who decried the looting, told repotyers that men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, had offered to provide security for all the empty houses.
Asemanya who inspected some of the looted houses assured of increased security surveillance of the affected areas to stem the ugly development.