By Jennifer John
Imo State Government has donated relief items to victims of flood disaster in communities in Oguta and Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Areas.
Addressing the victims at various camps in the two LGAs Gov. Hope Uzodimma, represented by his Deputy, Prof.Placid Njoku, commiserated with them and promised them that government will stand by them within the period of their travail.
“This is not your challenge alone, it has become the challenge of the Government of Imo State. This government will do everything possible to alleviate your sufferings, including seeking assistance from National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and other concerned federal government agencies.
Governor Uzodimma regretted that such an unfortunate situation caused by a natural disaster was occurring at a period of serious economic recession in the country and other parts of the world. He directed the leadership of Oguta and Egbema communities to ensure that the relief items were distributed to those they were meant for, making it clear that they will be held responsible, in the event of any substantiated claim of bias or fraudulent actions in the distribution.
Uzodimma posited that the federal government’s approval for the dredging of Oguta lake and Orashi River will help in no small measure to prevent future occurrence of the disaster in the state, in addition to the economic boost it will bring to the area. Recall that Hundreds of homes and farms were totally submerged by flooding as a result of overflowing of Oguta Lake and other rivers in Oguta and Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Areas of Imo State.
In addition to the relief items which included hundreds of bags of rice, mattresses, pillows, blankets, cartons of noodles, water packs, the victims and others were served hot meal of rice, while the governor promised that they will be provided at least one hot meal every day within the period of their displacement.
Some of the leaders of the areas who spoke at the occasion included; Minister of state for Education, Chief Nana Opia, Managing Director Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), Chief Charles Orie, Imo State Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Emma Duru, Chief Eugene Dibiagwu, among others. They lamented the devastation brought to the people as a result of the flooding, but however expressed appreciation to the state government for bringing relief to the victims, appealing for more assistance and relief items to be donated to other affected communities in Ezi-Orsu, Osemoto, Egbuoma and several others.
Speaking while separately fielding questions from newsmen, some the internally displaced persons decried the loss of their household properties, farmlands and crops while describing this year’s flood as one of the worst in the history of the area. They however expressed appreciation to God Almighty for surviving the natural disaster and lauded the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma and the state government for coming to their aid.