Kwara governor seeks N10b FG’s assistance for 15,000 flood victims

The Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday to seek federal government’s assistance over the flood disaster in his state, which he said has displaced over 15,000 people.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, he disclosed that the flooding led to a loss amounting to about N10 billion.

He said he requested for the president’s intervention to ameliorate the sufferings of the people of the state whose houses and farmlands have been submerged by the floods, which he feared, will result to low harvest.

The governor added that he has secured the President’s promise to help the state and that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has also promised that the cycle for assistance will be shorter than the regular six months.

Abdulrazaq said: “I came to the President, among other things, to discuss ecological and developmental issues. And over the weekend, we had a huge rainstorm that destroyed about 5,000 houses in the state capital.

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“We had huge flooding in Kwara North and the bank of River Niger. There are a lot of internally displaced people at the bank of River Niger and in the state capital. The state needs virtual aid to abate the crisis.”

He added: “We have about 5,000 houses and thousands of hectares of farmland are underwater. Close to about 10,000 to 15,000 people are already displaced so far. So, it’s straining the State’s economy. That is why we need virtual aid.

While noting that the losses were between N5 to N10billion, the governor revealed that the President‘s response was positive.

He stated that Buhari was very proactive, adding: “The federal government is coming in to assist the State. The new General Manager (GM) at National Emergency Agency (NEMA) is also coming to Kwara to see the situation for himself.

“Already, NEMA is on the ground in Kwara. He promised that the cycle will be shorter this time around. Before, after flooding, it will take up to six months before the aid comes in. But he has promised that things have been turned around at NEMA and they will act promptly. I believe him because he is an ex-Airforce officer.  It will be regimented.

Speaking on the impact of the floods on food security in the state, he affirmed that it will be huge, adding: “Luckily for us, we did two cycles of rice farming in the area affected. We are hoping to do three cycles.

“Yes, there is a huge impact, we are expecting a bumper harvest this season, especially with Federal Government’s intervention in the agricultural sector. But unfortunately, we are going to lose this harvest and we hope we will be able to gain ground.

“We also thank Federal Government as they gave 10,000 Hectares Irrigation Scheme to boost our dry season farming. That project is on course now.

“The first line is things like blankets, buckets, food, roofing sheets, and building materials generally. After that come things like fertilizers, pesticides, and seedlings to help them recover.”

On the effort his government has made to deal with the situation, he explained: “Immediately it started, we have NEMA on ground and State Emergency Management Agency. The first thing you do is to collate data.  We have been collating data.

“And from today, palliatives have started going out. We also thank God because of some of the food donated by CACOVID to Kwara State. Some of them are in the warehouse. So, they are very handful and useful in what we are doing.”

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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