By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
Leaders of Anegbette and Udochi communities, two towns worst hit by floods in South Uneme Clan of Etsako Central local government area of Edo State has called for urgent government intervention in the provisions of relief materials and relocation in order to avoid a major food crisis situations and outbreak of diseases.
President of Anegbette Development Association (ADA) Hon. Emma Okolo and National President of Udochi Development Union (UDU), Mr. Abubakar Aleobua said the havoc wreaked on the riverine communities has left thousands of their people displaced from their ancestral homes while many now take shelter under trees.
Also, the member representing Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency in House of Representative, Honourable Peter Ohiozoje Akpatason has warned of the dangers of the increasing numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.
Briefing journalists in Lagos, the two leaders said only the prompt intervention by government and concerned bodies will bring relief and succour to the people whose farm lands and agricultural produce worth hundreds of millions of naira has been destroyed.
Hon. Emma said “hundreds of houses in Anegbette have submerged, our farm produce, mostly rice, cassava, yam, pepper, tomatoes and others have been washed away. Our people are at the mercy of God as we speak.
The predicament of the people right now is beyond what anyone can describe, our plea goes to not only the government but also humanitarian organizations and international bodies to come to our aides”.
On his part, the UDU President, Abubakar lamented that the only IDP camp in the local government area located Ogomere is not easily accessible and called for the establishment of one closer to the community.
Abubakar added that “our people are going through untold hardship as many have been without food and adequate clothing for days. The community school buildings, our health center and places of worship are under the waters.”
“The government must declare an emergency in these areas and send NEMA and sisters agencies to visit affected communities and provide them with relief materials else we may witness a severe health crisis” he explained.
Honourable Akpatason told journalists that the high numbers of Internally Displaced Persons in the country does not augur well for Nigeria and urged the government to take concrete steps to address the burgeoning challenges.