From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Benue State government has set up a committee comprising of the Ministry of Water Resources and Environment, Urban Development Board and other relevant MDAs including the State Emergency and Relief Management Agency, SEMA to contend with issues of flood which has become a perennial occurrence in the state.
The State Executive Secretary of SEMA Mr. Emmanuel Shior who disclosed this during an interaction with newsmen yesterday in Makurdi, the state capital, maintained it is a challenge that a government that is responsive and responsible will do to mitigate the effect of flooding.
“So, when this rainy season started, the Governor directed my agency and other MDAs to come together. We came together in a committee that has been put in place and measures in terms of getting prepared so that when flood occurs we will be able to mitigate the impact and be able to respond rapidly to the victims.
The Executive Secretary also, intimated disclosed that a budget has been submitted to the state government awaiting the release of funds which would be made available to enable the committee work on construction of drainages at flood prone areas like Wurukum, Idye, Kucha Utebe, Achusa, Wadata market as well as the rice mill area.
He said SEMA has embarked on sensitisation for residents to clear their drainages to prevent flood, intimating that food items, shelter kits and other materials have been procured by the Federal Government and other humanitarian partners to mitigate flooding in the State.
Shior however, frowned at the attitude of traders at Wurukum market who have remained adamant despite incessant appeals on them to relocate to Makurdi International Market which has also been designated to flood victims in the state.
He explained that on the issue of victims of Fulani herdsmen’s attacks who have been in Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camps, the government is still waiting for the Federal Government to redeem its pledge of 10 billion naira meant for reconstruction of homes of victims and rehabilitation of those were displaced during herdsmen attacks on some communities in the state.