Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: FG Pledges Early Detection, Control of Floods

Calabar — The federal government has pledged its commitment to early detection and control of floods in the country as a result of lessons learnt from the recent flood disaster in the country.

Leader of Task Force on Flood Disaster Intervention from the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. David Atowo, disclosed this in Calabar when his team visited to check the health impact of the last flood disaster on the citizens.

Atowo stated that the visit was borne out of the Federal Ministry of Health's concern about the wave of flood disasters across the country and consequent disease incidents among internally displaced persons, adding that the task force would visit the 21 states which were affected last year by flood for post flood assessment.

According to him, the team has as its terms of reference: to establish the extent of the disaster on the communities affected in local government areas within the states, identify the pattern of injuries, disabilities, morbidity and mortality as a result of flood, determine the general nutritional status of children in camps and in communities.

Atowo also said that the team was to assess the status of water supply and sanitation in the affected communities, determine the effect of the flood disaster on the health system, document the responses by the states and partners during flood to identify gaps and evaluate the level of preparedness to address post flood disease/challenges, amongst others.

The Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Mrs. Angela Oyo-Ita, commended the minister for health for setting up the task force and noted that all local government areas affected by the flood are vulnerable to health issues.

She described the visit as timely and assured the team of maximum co-operation to ensure that the plight of the affected victims and communities is assuaged.

David Akate of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) commended the visit, and disclosed that Boki Local Government Area was the worst hit in the state, as it suffered a heavy downpour that caused a large landslide. This, he maintained, has resulted in the communities not even having drinking water, as their streams have been polluted with debris that came down from the Affi mountains.

He said about 30,000 people were displaced by the flood in the state last year.

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