Thursday, 25 April 2013

Agrieved Nasarawa Flood victims return to disaster-prone Areas

We are already in the rainy season and soon heavy downpours will intensify. The fear of another stretch of devastating floods is in the air as NIMET has already disclose the 2013 seasonal rainfall prediction Here and NEMA has given stern warning to LGs to relocate vulnerable communities Here. It is quite disheartening to hear that  persons displaced in not less than 200 communities in Nasarawa State have returned to the same flood prone areas while government looks the other way.
According to Dailytrust a total of 95,538 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), about 8,000 from Guto in Nasarawa Local Government Area alone, were recorded to have been displaced in about 200 communities of nine local government areas across the state. Over 2,000 hectares of cultivated farmland were also washed in the floods which swamped thousands of houses. The governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura had said over N20 billion loss was recorded by the disaster.
The sum of N400 million sent to the state by the federal government to mitigate the effect of the disaster on displaced persons and families of persons who died from the floods.
The government, on December 4, 2012, after receiving the grant, inaugurated a 15-man body called Task Force on the Mitigation of the Impact of Flood Disasters, to manage the funds, and gave the taskforce six weeks to complete its job with 10 terms of reference. But the taskforce has long exhausted the six-week period given them, and is approaching another six months since then without achieving much other than the sixth and the tenth terms – which are disbursement of between N2,000 and N3,000 as well as one bag of grains to each households in only four of the nine local government areas displaced by the floods of last year.
“Is it because of a bag of corn and N2,000 for each family, that government kept us waiting for months? Most surprising, the committee is not saying anything about the data for us to know how many persons are benefiting from how much”, said a beneficiary who dragged a bag of grains in anger, at Loko. 
Due to anger and frustration the displaced persons have now left the camps, and have returned to the same flooded areas.
“What happens next; we do not know, but we are sure the rains will come again. That we cannot escape. We can only pray the season don’t come with floods again. We have returned to the same places we were displaced from. We have nowhere to go”, said an aged grandmother who told this reporter that she and her children and grand children have all returned to Guto. 
I wonder how  N3,000 and a bag of grains can relieve the pains of a household.

Details go to dailytrust

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