04 October 2012, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa, Bayelsa – The Minister of Environment and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Flood Disaster Area, Hajia Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia yesterday toured the devastated communities in Bayelsa State describing this year’s flood as a national emergency capable of affecting food production across the country.
Virtually all the communities along the bank of rivers in the state including Toru-Orua, the hometown of the state governor have been submerged.
The minister and members of the presidential committee on flood disaster were conducted around the council areas by the state governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson.
The team made up of the Environment Minister, Hajia Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, her Water Resources counterpart, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe and Minister of State for Works and Infrastructures, Bashir Yuguda, after the tour of the affected areas and an assessment of the extent of damage done by the flood, said about 20 states had so far been affected by the flood.
They noted that many inhabitants did not heed to the early warning signals to the people to vacate the areas because of possible flood.
The Environment Minister said the enormity of the flood was clearly beyond what a state government could handle, describing it as a national emergency capable of affecting food production.
Hajia Mailafia said the committee had been going round the country since the flooding incidence started and that the government would come up with programmes to prevent similar occurrence in the future.
Governor Seriake Dickson, who undertook a tour of the flood affected areas for two days, told members of the Presidential committee that the entire state had been flooded leaving the thousands displaced in the fragile Niger Delta ecology.
Governor Dickson, stated that the state government had started sending relief materials to the affected people and thanked the National Emergency Management Agency , NEMA, for the relocation of displaced persons.