Senate seeks intervention of FG on flood victims in Abia

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By Haruna Salami

The Senate at its plenary on Tuesday has urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials for flood victims in communities in Abia North Senatorial District.

This was sequel to the adoption of a motion on “Call on the Federal Government to urgently make emergency provisions for victims of flooding in some communities in Abia North Senatorial District of Abia State” sponsored by Sen.Orji Uzor Kalu.

While Kalu, said the recent perennial downpour in some communities in Abia North Senatorial District caused severe damages to the affected communities.

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According to him, the incidence, which came with lightning and thunder was so severe and devastating that some precious lives were lost in the flood.

He said “critical connecting roads were completely cut off, making movement between communities impossible, while farmlands were washed away with attendant losses of crops and livestock”.

Kalu, a former governor of the state said some houses lost their roofs while others with weak foundations collapsed and occupants displaced alongside their “helpless families”.

He listed the affected communities to include Okoko-Item Primary School, Okposi Primary School, a radio station, a university structure and many other houses in Bende local government area.

He said socio-economic activities has been brought to a near halt because of the natural disaster in communities like Igbere, Item, Eziukwu Road, Nkporo Umuhu, Abriba, Okonu, Abam Ihechiowa and other adjoining communities all in Bende, Ohafia and Arochukwu Local Government Areas.

He said the devastation, which was linked to climate change has left the affected citizens of the district in pitiable situation.

The Senate was convinced that with destruction of certain infrastructures, the affected residents majority of who are rural dwellers, artisans and farmers are presently faced with existence without basic necessities of life”.

“If no emergency response is provided for the victims, the dislocated society will be worse for it and regrettable number of casualties may be recorded.”

In his contributing, Senator Austin Akubundu ( Abia Central) said there was an urgent need of intervention for victims as houses have been destroyed, leaving many homeless.

Senators Osita Izunaso (Imo West ) and Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) were among the senators who supported the motion, with Izunaso saying erosion was a major issue in the South East.

Senate in its further resolution after observing a minute silence in honor those who lost their lives urged the Federal Ministries of Housing and Urban Development to rehabilitate some of the collapsed homes and roads.

In addition the upper chamber urged the Ministry of Power to restore the electric installations within the affected areas while urging the ecological fund department of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Environment and Ecological Management to urgently assess damages on erosion sites of the areas.

Deputy President of Senate, Barau Jibrin (Kano North),who presided plenary said the Federal Government was now doing much to mitigate flooding in the southern part of the country.

According to him, the government had began construction of coastal ways, while calling for continued support and cooperation to federal government.

He expressed hope that significant changes on flood mitigation would recorded for good of people.

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