Awka — ANAMBRA State Government has said it would require a whopping N23 billion to adequately resettle the 125,000 victims of last year's flood disaster that ravaged 57 communities in eight local government areas of the state.
Chairman of the state Flood Disaster Relief Coordinating Committee and Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Osloka Obaze, told Vanguard, yesterday, that his committee had painstakingly analyzed the extent of destruction of property and came to the conclusion that enormous work needed to be done in the affected communities to enable them start life again.
The state government has already spent about N128 million in assisting the affected communities, including N1 million given to each of the 57 communities as intervention money for seedlings.
Obaze explained that at the peak of the disaster, the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state rose to 125,000, made up of 24750 men, 33345 women, including 1405 pregnant women and 1037 nursing mothers, as well as 67557 children and 8891 elderly people.
According to him, the 117,148 farmers and agro-based business people whose 82, 329 hectares of farmland were submerged lost N14. 78 million, while 79 water and sanitation facilities damaged during the flood would require N65.1 million to rehabilitate.
Similarly, he added, 325 schools damaged by the flood would need N2.12 million to repair, just as 122 health facilities destroyed would need N1.04 million, while manufacturing industries suffered losses estimated at N5 million.
He said: "From the outset of the floods, the state government received numerous appeals for assistance from individuals, businesses and communities that were hard hit.
"Overall, the damages were enormous and it took a while to receive and document all the claims and indeed, to correctly asses the level and overall cost of the damage.
"Every effort was made to ensure that the damage assessment was holistic and covered every affected sector of the economy. Anambra State benefitted immensely from the support it received from United Nations and European Union experts, federal experts and its own corps of dedicated emergency staff.
"Senior government officials including the SSG, Commissioners and Special advisers were at the helm of running, supervising and delivering the relief materials. Similarly, they were involved in the post-disaster needs assessment.
"The damages and impact were done in sectors, with each being well analyzed and accorded a cost value."
He also explained that the state government has submitted a detailed preliminary data report to the federal government on the issue.