In the event of residents being displaced by flood predicted to occur, the Rivers State government has setup emergency Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs’ camps.
This was made public yesterday in Port Harcourt by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties, Mrs. Ibaniba Briggs-Iti.
She said that the state had held meetings with relevant stakeholders, setup IDP camps to settle displaced persons in case of any flood disaster.
Briggs-Iti said: “Our government is very much interested in the safety and welfare of its citizens. As I talk with you, I do hereby confirm existence of IDP camps in Ahoda East Local Government Area built by the state government. It is a 1,500 per unit capacity, and we look forward to constructing more.”
This came as the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA, urged the state government to put adequate measures in place to mitigate the effects of flood disaster in the state.
The charge came from NEMA Coordinator in the South-South Zone, Mr. Benjamin Oghenah, at a workshop on flood mitigation in Port Harcourt.
The theme of the workshop was “Proper Waste Management Awareness and Mitigation”.
Briggs-Iti explained that originally there were five LGAs predicted to be affected by the flooding, but at present the number had increased to include Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt LGA, Asari/Toro and Degema LGAs, and maintained regular sensitisation of the affected areas were continuous.
On legal frame work for the establishment of State Emergency Management Agency, RSEMA, the Permanent Secretary explained that the draft bill had been made; regretting the inability of the seventh State Assembly to pass it into law, but promised the present House would pass it soon.
In his paper, the Director, Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Prince Chinedu Mmom, said there was poor waste management disposal system in the country, noting that what currently obtained was waste relocation, from the areas of high nuisance to the areas of low nuisance.
Mmoh said that waste disposal should be managed properly to achieve wealth.
“The current practice of disposing waste in open drains only helps to block the drains, preventing free flow of water, while also people negatively affect the capacity of the drains to hold water, thereby resulting to flooding”.
Responding to the prediction of Nigerian Metrological Institute NIMET, he said there was need for contingency planning by the government, insisting that the nation’s disaster management policy be made pro-active. “We should not wait for the flood to come, before we begin to think of relief materials, Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camps, and let people be properly informed about the flooding,” he said.

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