By Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives yesterday urged the National Emergency Management (NEMA) to provide relief materials to Biseni Community of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State due to thunderstorm devastation.
This followed a motion by Rep. Douye Diri (Bayelsa-PDP) at plenary.
Presenting the motion, Diri said, the devastating thunderstorm occurred on March 5, 2018 in Biseni community in Bayelsa was an unfortunate situation.
He disclosed as a result of the storm, houses, schools, places of worship, hospitals, electric poles, as well as farm produce were destroyed.
Diri further said that Biseni was a hub of Oil and Gas activities, hosting Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
He expressed concern that in spite of the devastating effect of the storm, the Community had not received any relief materials to ameliorate its sufferings and losses.
Diri also expressed concern over the livelihood of the inhabitants of Biseni Community who were predominantly farmers and had been cut off as a result of the storm that destroyed their farm produce, cultivated land.
The lawmaker expressed worry over the lack of response from Government, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other donor agencies to provide relief materials and succor.
He said that if urgent steps were not taken to ameliorate the sufferings of those affected by the storm, it may lead to loss of academic calendar of schools, homelessness and potential famine in Biseni community.
“Worried that the community has been in blackout as a result of electricity poles uprooted by the thunderstorm across the community, and it poses great danger with exposed cables which may result in electrocution, if the Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company fails to remove/replace those poles.”
He further expressed worry that if the disaster was not addressed timely, the operation of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SHELL) and other National assets in that community may be in jeopardy.
The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
The House therefore called on the Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) to equally move into the Community and ensure that the exposed cables and poles were replaced immediately and electricity was restored.
It also urged International Oil Companies (IOCs), Nigeria Agip Oil Company (AGIP), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SHELL) and the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to assist the community.
The House also mandated its Committees on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back in four weeks for further legislative action.