By NATHAN NWAKAMMA
YENAGOA- A former Commissioner for Information in Bayelsa, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, has appealed to Gov. Douye Diri approach the State assembly to increase the flood relief funds allocated to communities affected by the disaster in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor had approved N450 million for relief to about one million displaced people across the eight local government areas of the state.
Iworiso-Markson in a statement, said the fund was grossly inadequate to cater for the feeding, medical support and general welfare of victims of the flood, particularly those around the Ayama axis and Otuokpoti community.
”By the sharing formula, most households could not sustain themselves with the funds beyond a day or two, insisting that more money should be made available to the victims,” he said.
Iworiso-Markson, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the 2023 Ogbia Federal Constituency election, said that it would be justifiable if the governor approached the state house of assembly to request for special funds to be spent on the flood issue, especially the welfare of the victims.
Iworiso-Markson expressed worry over the looming health crisis that could develop from waterborne and other communicable diseases.
Acknowledging the efforts of the state government in the current situation, he also urged the Federal Government to consider Bayelsa as a special case and step in to compliment the efforts of the Diri administration to cushion the effect of the ravaging flood disaster.
The former commissioner also called on other agencies of the federal government, multinational companies operating in the state, privileged individuals as well as organizations to see the current issue as a great humanitarian crisis and show support.
“No one is in doubt about the kind of crisis we have now as a result of the flood. This is the time the governor needs to approach the state house of assembly and ask for their permission to raise and spend more money on the victims.
“This has become inevitable because the affected communities need more money and I urge the governor to step up the flood relief funds because the one released recently is grossly inadequate. It is barley enough to sustain a family for more than two days and our people are suffering.
”They are devastated!
“The government should also focus on the health needs of the people. I am afraid that the flood may lead to serious health crisis and this can be avoided if tackled now.
”I am also appealing to donor agencies, the federal government and individuals who have the capacity to complement the efforts of the state government,” he said.
NAN reports that the Bayelsa government declared that no fewer than 300 communities and villages have either been totally or partially submerged by flooding in the state.
It also announced that about 700,000 persons have either been displaced or affected by the flood.
The state government expressed the concern that the impact of this year’s flooding might result in a humanitarian crisis. (NAN)