Senate seeks resettlement of Ikoyi, Suleja flood victims

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

The  Nigerian Senate has raised concerns that victims of last weekend’s flood disasters in some parts of the country “are presently at risk of contracting water-borne diseases  like cholera, and even malaria as a result of the devastation caused by the flood to their sanitation and immediate surroundings.”

It asked the federal government to assist the affected states with immediate repair and reinforcement of damaged infrastructure that could withstand future rainfall and resettle all victims of the disaster.

Senate resolution was sequel to a motion sponsored under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rule on personal explanation raised by Senator David Umaru during Tuesday’s plenary session.

It was on the flood disaster that affected Suleja and Tafa local government areas of Niger State rendering people homeless and leading to loss of lives and properties.

Over 15 people were feared killed in Tafa and Suleja Local Government Areas of Niger State after fierce flooding ravaged several homes and farmlands.

Also in Lekki and Victoria Island areas of Lagos, hundreds of residents were sacked from their homes by similar floods.

According to the resolutions, Senate also urged the federal government to send relief  materials to the victims while charging the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NIMET to intensify its weather forecasts, with emphasis on translating them in local languages of prone areas to flood, thunderstorms and other extreme weather conditions.

Senator Umaru, while presenting the motion, also called on federal government to embark on an emergency intervention measure through the release of funds from ecological funds for construction of drainage system in the affected states.

He urged the government at all levels to take seriously weather forecast and flood predictions by NIMET and accordingly take proactive measures to minimize loss of lives and properties associated with flooding and other natural disasters.

He expressed the Senate’s sympathy with the government of both Niger and Lagos States over the weekend disaster.

The lawmaker, who observed that despite early weather forecast and warnings; the flood disaster continues to wreck serious havoc in its trail, lamented that “the scale of devastation is beyond the capacity of Suleja and Tafa local government councils and indeed Niger State government to handle except the intervention of the federal government”.

Senator Umaru was also worried that “flood disasters in the country appear to have consistently caught victims off guard in spite of early weather forecast, including predictions of floods, thunderstorms and other extreme weather conditions by the NIMET”.

In his contribution, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger North), stressed the need for government to always be proactive in saving human lives and properties rather than the usual ad-hoc arrangement after flood might have wreaked havoc.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in his brief remarks, charged the government to assist the affected victims with relief materials and the state governments to repair the damaged infrastructure.