President Goodluck Jonathan has assured that his administration would take steps to avert flooding in the country in the coming 30 to 50 years by ensuring the completion of the Kashin-bila dam in Taraba State; the construction of a dam on River Benue and dykes across the country.
The President gave this assurance in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, when he visited the state to assess the damage caused by flood in parts of state and also to commiserate with the victims.
While lamenting the condition of the victims, the President also decried economic losses suffered by the victims, assuring that the Federal Government would do everything to mitigate the effect of the flood on their lives.
He noted that the Federal Government had already released N500 million to the state government stressing that this would be disbursed to the victims to assist them to pick up their lives again.
Jonathan also promised the release of funds to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to purchase improved seedlings that would be distributed to farmers across the country, adding that money will also be given to the Ministry of Health to ensure control of water borne diseases like cholera and diarrhoea in parts of the country in the aftermath of the flooding.
He said: “Government is committed to turning your calamity into a blessing. Those of you who lost farmlands would be given high yielding seedlings to make you improve your farm produce. We will help you start new economic lives and pray that you do not suffer from such calamity again.”
He expressed appreciation to developmental partners, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, security agencies and other well-meaning Nigerians for their support to the flood victims across the nation.
Flood affected five LGAs
Earlier in his speech, Governor Gabriel Suswam disclosed that flood affected five local governments of Makurdi, Guma, Gwer West, Logo and Agatu, noting that over 4,378 males, 6,378 female, 9,300 children, 348 infants, 341 pregnant women and eight physically challenged persons were displaced by the flood while 18 births had been recorded in the designated camps.
The governor who commended the President for the release of N500 million, assured that the money and several relief materials received from different organizsations and individuals would be applied strictly to displaced persons.
He expressed fears of imminent food crisis in the affected states across the country and appealed to the Federal Government to intervene quickly to avert famine in the country.
Suswam urged the Federal Government to construct an 18 kilometre dam on River Benue and dykes across the Benue to check future flooding.