By SAM JONES
YENAGOA (Sundiata Post) – indegenous oil firm, First E&P has donated relief materials worth N170 million to victims of the 2022 flood disaster who were in 48 internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Bayelsa State.
First E&P which operates the Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 83 and 85 in joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) handed over of the relief materials on Friday at Danielle Jetty in the Oxbow Lake area in Yenagoa.
Ayebatonye Basuo, Head of Social Performance, First E &P officially presented the relief materials on behalf of the oil firm and were received on behalf of the beneficiary communities by leaders of the IDP camps.
It is believed that over 24,000 victims of the flood disaster who were numbered in the 48 IDP cammps whose homes and farms were submerged will benefit from the donation.
The items donated included foodstuff, water and other hygiene products.
While presenting the items, Basuo said, “Our thoughts and prayers have continued to be with all who have been affected by the flooding experienced across the nation in the last few weeks.
“We understand how difficult it must have been for people to be displaced from their homes and to see their sources of livelihood adversely impacted.
“At First E&P, we seek to always ensure that through our social performance strategy, our stakeholder communities benefit from our presence on a sustainable basis.
“We drive this through flagship community development programmes which cover interventions in the areas of educational, health, infrastructural and human capital development.
“However, when unprecedented disasters like the recent flood occur, we also seek ways in which we can intervene to make a positive impact.”
Dr. Ibiere Jones, Commissioner for Mineral Resources, who represented Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, applauded the joint venture for showing concern and empathy to Bayelsans beyond their immediate host communities, describing the approach as impactful.
His words: “I want to say that the approach adopted by the NNPC/First E&P Joint Venture is novel; they thought outside the box by using the IDP camps as points of contact and unlike other companies who come into the state and go to the communities and give out items without the knowledge of the government, they duly informed the government, and that shows that they are indeed a partner.
“From what I can see, the value of this intervention is huge, and being a wholly indigenous company owned by Nigerians, it is very pleasant.”
Reacting to the donation, Mrs Charity Godwin, recalled the ordeals of the flood and expressed gratitude to the joint venture for identifying with the people of Bayelsa.
DSP Konyeifa Austin from Mechanic Road IDP camp in Yenagoa recalled that most displaced people were also victims as criminals made away with valuables they left behind and that the items would ameliorate the sufferings faced by the people as the flood recedes.