Post- Flood Famine: Which Way Out – By Godday Odidi

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The inveterate flood debacle in Isoko communities has left no fewer than 100 thousands

of people displaced and distraught. The major confronting quandary with Isoko flood victims is that the transitory relief camps being provided by the Delta state governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan is gradually being waterlogged by the untold flood. The flood has wholly derelict havoc on over 50 Isoko communities which prompted the Isoko stakeholders’ forum to deliberate on the next line of action to flood victims in the region that brought together the crème da la crème of Isoko sons and daughters specifically the political class. No day passes by without Isoko people recounting their unadulterated losses to the iniquitous flood disaster.

One of the highly placed Isoko politicians raised an observation where Isoko people living in Ndokwa region were denied of ferrying Isoko flood victims into their speed boats and local canoes until some Isoko people rescued them from the tight spot of marginalization in a flood time. Despite that the Federal government recently allocated #17.6 billion to flooded states while Delta falls into the A state where #500 million is disbursed to flood victims, yet many are still living in agonizing pains of privation of the flood that refused to go in spite of government measures to tackle future flood in Nigeria. The fears of many affected flood victims is that the money given to the state government to ameliorate the sufferings of the people will not be appropriately disbursed if not properly monitored by those in authorities of leadership.Isoko region is mainly located along the coastal riverine areas which flood greatly affected farmlands and property worth billions of naira destroyed in a quantum of time.

No amount of relief funds from the State or Federal governments cannot prevent the high profile starvation which the sudden flood disaster has caucused to Isoko land. The two local governments Isoko South and Isoko North have been submerged by the flood. The fear of living in Isoko region is the beginning of people evacuating for being cut off by the flood. Most of the Isoko people are major in farming and fishing which indicates the tenacity of crime rate will increase if the flood disaster is not properly controlled by various government agencies in charge of flood management. With the government directives to some flood Isoko communities of their motherland to evacuate, yet some have failed to relocate to the relief camps. Most of the relief materials provided by these government agencies are not enough to cater to the growing flood challenge in Isokoland.

Unlike in Bayelsa state where the State government is assiduously working to the extent of inviting a foreign company to process garri for the immediate needs of the suffering Bayelsans against future food crisis in the state. The continuous water rise in Isoko communities has definitely created another unknown fear of Delta State being submerged by the flood. The costs of food items,transportation and accommodation have suddenly increased to 90 percent in the State. Even some benevolent and compassionate Isoko people have continue to provide relief materials to Isoko flood victims in recent times with their widow mite supports without government. The likes of Chief Edwin Ozah who accommodated over 500 displaced persons in his private house and personally feeding them on his own account, Hon Benjamin Essien, Delta State House of Assembly member, Hon Fineboy Egbebare, Rev Dr C.A.O Apena, Apostle M. T. O Oki, SSG comrade Macaulay Ovuozorie and others must be generously applauded for caring for flood victims

The most terrible thing is that the State government over one year now has failed abysmally to conduct elections into the 25 local governments in the State which only the Caretaker committees are not competent enough to disburse these funds to flood victims.Isoko communities have over 100 oil wells and contribute 45 percent largely to the Nigerian economy over the years. The Delta state government must deem fit to invest massively on agriculture if any land is left out after the flood to increase food supply while mechanized farming must be encouraged. All the highlands in Isoko communities are being submerged by the flood while all economic activities are grounded to halt including the state education. It is good the federal government monitor the relief funds to the flood victims which the outbreak of diseases can be for with if not checkmated to avert another uncontrollable epidemic in the state except God almighty intervenes on the sufferings Isoko people. Even the #500 million is not enough to settle flood victims in Isoko let alone other regions affected in the State. It

is time for NGOs and other individuals started donating for flood victims in Isokoland and all Isokos in Diaspora must rise to their responsibilities now. The first flood disaster occurred in 1969 but was not as devastated as the current one ravaging homes and farmlands. The fact remains that there is little rainfall in the state and upsurge flood is plaguing on the Isoko suffering dwellers. All the 17 cans and villages in Isoko have been taken by unstoppable and inevitable flood which many ascribed to the sin of the soil. The flood is as a result of world climate change which was foretell by our learned meteorologists but was disregarded by government agencies.

The flood in some of the flooded states is gradually subsiding but in Isoko is creating another flagrant and blatant fears which those that were evacuated by the government for safe keeping are now taken alternative relocation to other states of the federation which was not initially affected by the flood.70 percent of Isoko flood victims are now in Lagos and other commercial cities in Nigeria. The harvest of sorrow has greeted the land of Isoko region which is posing great dangers on the faces of flood victims. Some so-called unscrupulous and devious elements are now using this flood disaster to exploit money from innocent affluent Nigerians while the money is being channeled to their private pockets. The so-called committee recently set up by

President Goodluck Jonathan to assess devastated flood states was a welcome development. The federal government has also budgeted for 2013 budget for flood disaster which indicates the total food increase in 2013 and 2014 in the flooded states. Most of these affected flood Isoko communities are Ivrogbo- Irri, Ada, Irri, Olomoro, ofagbe, Iyede- Ame, Umuti, Oyede,Umeh, Oleh. Ikpide, Ozoro and others.It is time for Delta state government should start constructing first class drainage system in Isokoland now to avoid future flood disaster.

BY GODDAY ODIDI. O8058124798, 08063458693, @ 20 oro street Ajegunle Apapa Lagos.


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