This Day (Lagos)

12 November 2012

Nigeria: Sambo Urges Joint Action to Tackle Flood Disaster

Photo: Emmanuel Gbemudu/IRIN
Women with a dug-out canoe in front of their flooded homes in Toru-Orua in Sagbama.

The Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, has asked Nigerians to work with government in order to address the challenges posed by the recent flood disaster that hit most parts of the country.

This came as palpable apprehension allegedly gripped operators of Fadama projects in Ekiti State over the flood disaster which was threatening to wash away their fish ponds across the state.

Sambo, who was represented by the Director of Sports in the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Yari Musa, disclosed this during the closing ceremony of the week-long public safety programme for resilience in disaster relief jointly organised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Israeli Government and Motorola Solutions Foundations in Abuja at the weekend.

Speaking on the impact of flood disasters, Sambo said global statistics had put the number of people who lost their lives worldwide due to flooding at three million, while 2.4 billion persons were badly affected.

He said most of the impacts of flood disaster were being felt by people in the Third World countries with its attendant debilitating socio-economic consequences.

According to the VP, Federal Government is committed to ensuring the well-being of Nigerians and would do everything possible to assist NEMA in providing relief to flood victims across the country.

Speaking about the initiative, the Director of Motorola Solutions (Africa) , Mr. Ronny Preger, said the project aimed at using football as a tool for community empowerment to promote public safety and resilience against disaster emergencies.

Apart from providing professional guidance and tools for decision makers, local authorities as first responders, the project intends to empower local leadership in communities to better cope with disaster relief in the country.

About 1,500 school children are being targeted to benefit from the football training and leadership empowerment expected to run for next one year under the initiative.

Meanwhile, Fadama farmers at Ilawe-Ekiti area of Ekiti State have cried out that flooding is already threatening their multimillion naira aquatic lives, calling on the state government for prompt channalisation of Adere River in the area.

During a tour of the some Fadama projects in the state organised by the Fadama 111, Mr Johnson Ajayi, the Chairman of Agbelolaye Fadama Project and owner of about 35 fish ponds with 15,000 fishes at different stages of development covering about seven hectares on the bank of the River, explained that his members were being gripped by fear any time torrential rainfall was witnessed in the state capital.

Ajayi, who deplored persistent flooding in the area, said erosion control, which he said, could only be handled by government, became imperative to safeguard the operation of Fadama business on that portion of Ado-Ekiti.

Speaking with the journalists during the tour of the Fadama sites in the state at the weekend, Ajayi said the business is generating revenues and provided employment to some residents of the state and should not be allowed to suffer undue devastation.

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