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Bayelsa Victims: We Lost 710,000 Houses

Bayelsa Victims: We Lost 710,000 Houses

Flood victims in Bayelsa State on Sunday claimed that the disaster destroyed over 710,000 houses in the state.

The victims, under the aegis of Bayelsa State Flood Victims Forum, also said over 10,000 farmlands and 15,000 fish ponds were destroyed by the floods that overran the state.

The group, in a statement by its Chairman, Mr. Oyoyo Bipeledei; and Secretary, Mr. Lucky Wusa, claimed that the floods swept away 10 children and caused diseases that killed 15 other children.

The group said 200,000 mud houses and 10,000 block buildings collapsed during the disaster.

It added that another 500,000 block houses were at the verge of collapsing.

“Hundreds of thousands of property including bales of clothes, furniture, refrigerators, generators, cars, utensils and other valuables running into billions of naira were destroyed by the floods,” the group said.

The group, in the statement, said it compiled the records after its inspection tour of communities affected by the floods.

Among others, it said the communities in Sagbama, Ogbia, Southern Ijaw and Yenagoa local government areas were the worst hit by the disaster.

It called on President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Seriake Dickson to resettle the flood victims in the state.

Meanwhile, Bayelsa State on Sunday described as “preposterous and most reprehensible,” the request by flood victims that the government should settle each of them with N300,000.

Governor Seriake Dickson also debunked reports that the government maltreated the victims by evicting them from their relief camps.

Dickson in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the government was concerned about proper resettlement of the flood victims instead of doling out cash to them.

“Our concern as a Government is about how most of the flood victims will be able to start life allover again, especially for those who have lost farmlands, properties, livestock and other sources of livelihood. Those who have lost farmlands will be assisted with seedlings and other farming inputs to enable them start allover,” he said.

He said the decision to close the camps was taken after it was established that the flood water had receded and that it was safe for the victims to go home.

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