Owerri — Imo State Government has said that it is spending part of the N400m federal government windfall for flood victims in the state on fumigation of the affected areas to make them habitable for people.
The state Commissioner for Health and Chairman Imo State Disaster Committee, Dr. Obi Njoku, made the revelation to journalists when he led members of the committee to the fumigation site at Orsu Obodo in Oguta local government area.
Obi Njoku, without mentioning the amount of money for the exercise, said that whatever amount was spent at the end of the exercise would be deducted from the N400 million released to the state by the federal government for the rehabilitation of the flood victims.
He said that 23 communities, 12 in Ohaji/Egbema and 10 in Oguta LGAs, are targeted for the fumigation exercise, adding that already the communities in Ohaji/Egbema had been fumigated while the exercise continued in the Oguta axis.
He said after Orsu Obodo, the people would go over to Egbuoma, Osemotor, Oguta town and other areas in Oguta assuring that the move was aimed at ensuring that the people lived comfortably in their houses on return from the camps.
He said that the essence of the fumigation was to prevent upsurge of flood related diseases like malarial, diseases associated with food and water pollution like typhoid and cholera.
According to him, after the fumigation exercise, government intended to embark on rehabilitating those who lost their farmlands, businesses and homes with cash intervention to enable them start life again, and also assured of the government's plans to build community development centres where people would relocate to in emergencies.
The Managing Director of Jumare Integrated Services Nig. Ltd, Mohammad T. Ibrahim Jumare, the contractor handling the fumigation, told newsmen that their contract charge for the fumigation of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta LGAs was N40 million.
Ibrahim said that 70 percent of sick people lying in the hospitals today are as a result of malaria, adding that if government carried out periodic fumigation of the environment, it would go a long way in reducing the scourge of malarial and other animal bites.
He assured that the chemicals approved by the Federal Ministry of Health were friendly to both human beings and crops, adding that the exercise which lasts for three months has the capacity to reduce the rate of malarial infection in the state to 60 percent.