Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, at the weekend, canvassed for the removal of all bureaucratic bottlenecks hindering the take-off of the Hydro-electric Producing Areas Commission (HYPADEC) in order for the pains of the flood victims in the hydro energy producing communities to be assuaged and the impact of future flooding better managed.
Ahmed, who disclosed this, at the palaces of Etsu Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta Umar and Emir of Lafiagi , Alhaji Saidu Kawu Haliru, during the presentation of relief materials to the flood victims in the two communities, said additional support in terms of electrification, rural roads and housing would also be provided to complement the state government's on-going efforts.
The governor who presented relief materials procured at about N340 million to the people of Patigi and Lafiagi in Patigi and Edu Local Government Areas of the state, noted that the impact of the flood had thrown up a lot of challenges as fishing, farmlands and other sources of livelihood in the communities along the banks of Rivers Niger and Kaduna were destroyed.
He added: "When the issue of HYPADEC was mentioned, it was a very welcome development. We have since been looking forward to its full take off so that communities can begin to see that they are also put into consideration and feel a sense of belonging on issues affecting their livelihood and support for them."
While presenting the relief materials, which included over 920 bags of rice, 850 bags of cement, 605 pieces of fishing nets over 700 pieces of Ankara print wax for women and Guinea Brocade for men, roofing sheets, nails, among others, at separate ceremonies in the two communities, Ahmed assured them that his administration would continue to be responsive to their aspirations and make life more comfortable to them through the provision of infrastructural facilities.
The governor, who described the relief materials donated to the affected communities as a first step palliative, promised that government would continue to work towards their permanent rehabilitation.
Ahmed called on well meaning individuals to join hands with the state government in providing lasting succour to the victims.
The governor stated that it had become obvious that the flooding had become regular and with devastating consequences due to climatic change, and therefore emphasised that communities at the banks of the rivers should prepare to be relocated further from the banks to reduce the impact of flooding whenever it occurs.
"I do know that it is very emotional to relocate to another place, but there is more to life than staying in an ancestral home," he said.
Earlier, the two traditional rulers also emphasised that the early take off of HYPADEC would bring a lot of succour to the people living around the banks of River Niger.
They also called for the take off of the dredging of the river Niger up to Jebba in Kwara State to reduce the effects of flooding.