A philanthropist in Bayelsa, Chief Reuben Okoya on Saturday appealed to the public to assist flood victims by donating relief materials to cushion the effect of flood on displaced people.
He said that the victims required rehabilitation even beyond the flood incident which according to reports is receeding as the water level was reducing.
Okoya noted that the impact of the flood was beyond what government alone could handle and hence the call for public support.
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) put the number of displaced people at not less that 150,000 in Bayelsa.
Chief Okoya made a cash donation of one million naira to be split
To the victims at IDP camps he visited in Ogbia, Amassoma, Boro town Kaiama and Igbogone
Okoya noted that he was touched by the pains and sufferings being experienced by the people caused by the unexpected displacement from their homes.
He said that the flood water was gradually receding and noted that the next stage was how the displaced people would go back home and be able to sustain themselves until they get back on their feet.
“In flood matters, there are pre flood issues, flood issues and post flood issues. I think we have come to the point where we are dealing with post flood activities. How do these people go back to their homes that were flooded?
“If they go back and fall sick, how do they respond? The private sector needs to come in and help them sort out all these”. Okoya said.
At Ogbia IDP camp where he felicitated with six women who put to bed at the camp, he promised to do his best to contribute to their up keep and immediately offered to underwrite the medical bills of some sick children and elderly.
He commended the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for coordinating the different camps in the state effectively.
Okoya enjoined medical professionals and other relevant professionals in the state to render free services in the camps as a way of contributing to the relief of the people.
“I will try and see if I can meet some doctors and other medical professionals privately who can visit these camps with some medications and medical services.
“I am going to organize that with SEMA to ensure that as we go into post flood activities, everybody will be properly settled and return home safely without diseases.
“I want to specifically thank SEMA. They have done excellently well. Today I have taken time to go to Bayelsa East, Bayelsa West and Bayelsa Central as a private individual to see what is happening.
“It is tough when you see people suffering. In Ogbia we saw babies being born in the IDP camp. Two were born today. But it is gladdening to see that government is doing something”. Okoya said
On a permanent solution to the flooding in the state, Okoya an architect said there has to be a holistic approach where scientific studies would be commissioned for experts to brainstorm and proffer ideas for workable solution.
He said that there was a need for all drains to be cleared and kept neat while all natural water ways should be identified and made to flow uninhibited.
At all the camps visited, officials of SEMA received Okoya and explained the details of their assignment, while he empathized and encouraged the victims to be optimistic.