Relief has come the way of 894 households in Emereoke Kingdom, Eastern Obolo local government area of Akwa Ibom state as the federal government presented materials to them to cushion the effects of the flood which ravaged the area .
The materials included, bags of rice, beans, cartons of tomatoes, pasta, bags of salt and sugar, detergents,cartons of soap, plastic buckets, bundles of roofing sheets and other building materials, cooking utensils, gallons of groundnut oil,and mattresses.
Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, while making the presentation to victims, explained that his office received a distress call from the Emereoke community in September concerning flood which submerged the whole community occasioning loss of lives.
According to him, the State had to promptly embark on an on-the-spot assessment of the situation and reported to National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for assistance and thanked the Federal Government for responding swiftly with the release of the materials.
Represented by his Permanent Secretary, Mr. Nkopuruk Ekaiko, the Deputy Governor said the materials would go a long way to ameliorate the effects of the disaster and give the victims a new lease of life.
Ekpo cautioned the people against building along water channels to avoid a reocurrence of flood disaster in the area.
While advising youths against indulging in vices capable of disrupting the peace of the area, he urged them to key into the Dakadda philosophy of the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration by taking advantage of the fishing potentials of the environment, to be gainfully employed.
“There are so many empowerment programmes in the State which you could avail yourself of, to better your lives. Liase with the the federal and state government to get assistance for those interested in fishing, he advised.
The Deputy Governor commended the outgone Council Chairman, Hon Victoria Tallick for prompt assessment of the situation and the new Chairman whom he said has been very supportive in making adequate logistic arrangements for effective distribution of the materials to the victims.
Speaking on behalf of the Zonal Coordinator, NEMA, South-South, Mr. Wilson Brandon, the Principal Search and Rescue Officer, Mr. Damian Egwu said a Save- Our-Soul message got to them in September and the Minister for Humanitarian and Social Development through NEMA approved 28 items comprising food and non food items as well as some building materials, to ease the suffering of the victims.
He said they were in the State to witness the distribution of the materials to the real victims.
“The provision is for 894 households in all the communities affected. We know that no amount of materials given can compare to the losses the community has suffered, but the items are brought to fast track recovery, reduce the level of suffering and help them pick up their lives again”, the Zonal Coordinator stated.
Speaking on behalf of the Council Chairman, Rt. Hon. Abraham Odion, the Vice Chairman, Hon. Peggy Philips, thanked the Federal Government, NEMA and the State government for their prompt intervention.
He appealed to the Federal and State governments to carry out shoreline embankment as a permanent solution to the flood incident in the area.
“I appeal to the State government when embarking on skill acquisition and empowerment of youths in Eastern Obolo, to make provision for boat and fishing nets to assist our youths in fishing”.
The Village Head of Emereoke 2, Joshua Ayagwung said the entire Emereoke kingdom comprising Emereoke 1&2, Okwaan Obolo, Emeremen, Otunene, Ama Nwon, Agbama, Agansa, Emenasa and Etekwun were completely submerged by the raging floods.
Chief Ayagwung appealed to government and agencies concerned to urgently carry out embankment and shoreline protection as immediate measures to checkmate a recurrence that could lead to the complete extinction of the community.
Responding on behalf of the victims, Chief Jonah Lot of Emeremem and Nkakeek Fimie Solomon of Agansa communities appreciated the government for urgently coming to their aids.