The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Friday described the ongoing flood in the state as a monumental disaster during a visit to affected people.
Osinbajo who spoke at the internally displaced people’s camp, (IDP) at Igbogene on the outskirts of Yenagoa said his visit was to assess the extent of damage caused by the flood.
He noted that he undertook an overfly on helicopter from Port Harcourt International airport through communities in Rivers State affected by the flood and others within Yenagoa metropolis.
The Vice President observed that the exercise has brought home the suffering the flood has thrown many of the victims.
The Vice President commended the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA) and its state counterpart, (SEMA) for their efforts in assisting the flood victims.
He pledged the assistance of the federal government to resettle the victims and provide them means of livelihood to start life anew as soon as the flood is over.
Osinbajo said his coming with the Director General of NEMA and the Minister of Environment was to demonstrate the seriousness federal government attaches to the welfare of the flood victims.
He also assured that as soon as he gets back, the government would restrategize and get back to the state.
He further said that government was working on how to ensure that such emergency does not happen in future by embarking on dredging of water channels and building canals.
He urged the people to avoid dumping of solid wastes into the river that could block water channels and result to flooding.
He used the occasion to pledge the assistance of government to ensure that the babies delivered in the IDP camps are “perfectly and well cared for”.
Also speaking, Gov Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa described the state as the most impacted in the flooding that affected many states across the country, saying Bayelsa is situated below sea level.
“You saw personally the extent of the devastation. This is the state mostly affected whenever there is flooding. This state is below sea level”, he said.
The Governor said the state government is doing all it could to care for the displaced people.
According to him, apart from the 13 IDP camps already set up, additional three would be established to contain the increasing number of people displaced by the flood.
He expressed the readiness of the state government to collaborate with the federal government for a long term solution to the problem of flooding in the state.
He lamented the insufficient quantity of relief materials supplied by NEMA.
The Vice President and his entourage also visited a nearby St John’s Catholic Church, Igbogene Camp, where some 528 IDPs are staying.
Figures provided by NEMA indicate that more than 150,000 people have been displaced by the flood in Bayelsa.