Port Harcourt — Environmental rights group, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, has distributed relief materials and food items to flood victims across six impacted states in the country.
Items distributed included bags of rice, beans, garri, onions, tubers of yams, cartons of noodles, palm oil, table water, mattresses, and diapers and disinfectant, amongst others.
Director of HOMEF, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, said the gesture was to show support and identify with flood victims who were displaced and have suffered gravely from the impact of flooding in Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Edo, Kogi and Rivers State.
Bassey also charged the government to take proactive steps in defedning the environment by curbing incessant flooding in the country.
He also applauded the people for the response mechanisms they adopted in the face of limited help, and encouraged them to continue to stay strong and courageous as they have always demonstrated in the face of the worsening ecological crises.
“These food items and materials donated will not replace what has been lost or destroyed by the floods. With intensifying extreme weather events more climate disasters may come in the coming years.
“We are using this opportunity to call on government to take steps to holistically climate-proof our communities to ensure that infrastructure and livelihoods are resilient enough to survive events. We must support each other and also commit to be better defenders of our environment.
“This is the time to begin to look for alternative ways to avert the next year flood situation. We should not wait for the next year and expect it not to hit us, rather now is the time to take proactive measures to ensure safety. The damaged roads should be fixed immediately and not used for politicking. Comprehensive health checks should also be carried out in affected communities.”
Receiving the items, beneficiaries expressed appreciation to HOMEF for always remembering them in their ecological travails.
The Paramount Ruler of Ikarama, Okordia clan in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Chief Gospel Okah, and Ikarama CDC Chairman, Mr. Joel Ebi expressed gratitude to HOMEF for identifying with them in their time of need.
“We appreciate the organization for delivering the items to us; these things came at a time when we need them the most. We have lost food items, mattresses, and all our belonging but these items have brought joy to our heart knowing that other well-meaning Nigerians see the pain we go through. Ikarama community is not new to this organization following all the monitoring training it has held for us. We are grateful for such a gift.”
At Iwherekhan and Otu-Jeremi communities in Delta State, a beneficiary, Mrs A. Otomewo, who recounted her ordeal at the peak of the flood, said the experience was devastating.
“In this last three weeks, the experience we have had is something that we will never forget in a hurry. We woke up in the night to find ourselves right inside the river in our bedrooms. I had to run with my family to another community that was not as affected as ours by the flood. Today, we thank HOMEF for the kind gesture of providing food items and relief materials to us and identifying with us in our time of need.. We will not forget in a hurry those who came to dry our tears when it mattered most.”
Similarly, another representative from Rivers state, Comrade Che Ibegwura while receiving the support for Erema people in ONELGA, thanked HOMEF for identifying with the flood victims.
“NGO’s are there to help people but HOMEF has shown that it is a family that sticks with the people it associates with. I cannot thank HOMEF enough for this gesture. I encourage them to keep up with the spirit of solidarity and comradeship in their advocacy for environmental and climate justice.”
HOMEF also provided relieve materials to flood victims in internally displaced persons’ camps at Oghomere, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State and to Odogu in Ibaji LGA of Kogi State and Akpeko community in Benue State.
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