Panelists at the Delta Online Publishers Forum programme, DOPF Media Hangout have commisserated with victims of the current flood disaster in Nigeria, with a call on governments at all levels to wakeup to their responsibilities of bringing to an end the perennial flood disaster that affects most parts of the country.
The panelists which comprised a an accomplished journalist, and Writer Mrs. Herrientta Oyakhilome, who is also a Deputy Manager of the Delta State owned Pointer Newspaper, and a former Student Leader, and activist, Comrade Donald Igudia frowned at the inaction of the governments, especially the Federal Government to find solution to end the effect of the annual release of water from the Cameroonian Dam, which when opened empties its excess water to Nigeria Communities.
The programme was streamed Live on Facebook, and moderated by Comrade Abel Johngold of the Federal Orientation Agency (FOA).
The discussants agreed that flood is an environmental problem, an age-old phenomenon, which causes a significant rise of water level in a stream, lake, reservoir, or coastal system that overflows the banks as a result of natural or man-made disaster that causes discomforts, destruction of lives and property as well as pollution.
The panelists while commiserating with the victims of flood in Delta and Nigeria in general over the discomforts, the destruction of lives and their properties and other disease outbreaks following the ravaging flood menace, said that governments at all levels should always be sensitive, be prepared and proactive enough to combat the menace on time by building IDP’s across the local governments before the occurrence so as to avoid more loss of lives by heeding to the early warning of Nigerian Metrological Department, NIMET and other States and Federal Orientation agencies.
The discussants bemoaned the fact that governments have not been sensitive to the plight of Nigerians, that is why they have failed to complete the Dam being constructed in Adamawa State to take in the excess water from Cameroon.
They asked the government, as a matter of urgency to act on the agreement the country had with Cameroon before their dams were constructed in 1977 as group traced the origin of flood menace in Nigeria.
They recalled that it has been alleged that Buhari’s first Military Government stopped the construction then. DOPF therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to complete the project as well as construct more dams to solve the problem of endemic flood menace in the country.
“They said: “investigations revealed that the opening of the Dam in Cameroun after the water has reached the maximum level, in a larger quantity the rise had to flow down to Nigerian rivers, especially the River Niger and River Benue resulting in flood menace in Nigeria and consistently caused unquantifiable loss of lives and property, diseases, pollutions in the country a case study of 2012, 2016 and 2022, an agreement as reached by Cameroonian Government with Nigeria”.
They also appealed to governments at all levels to put measures early enough, heed the warning of NIMET, Orientation Agencies by mobilizing funds, and partner with other critical stakeholders to build camps for internally displaced Persons (IDP Camps)
On the distribution of palliatives, they called on the government to be up and doing, and to avoid a repeat of what happened during the 2019 COVID-19, pandemic palliative distribution and monitor the activities of the Flood Committees in the various IDP Camps to avoid politicians and other unscrupulous persons enriching themselves with the sorrows of other Deltans, Nigerians as this is in line with reports from victims.
They also called on the affected states to go beyond food distribution and building of IDP camps but also see how they can construct their own dams to hold back the rising waters any time it occurs.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings