Centre laments govt neglect of warnings on impending flood
Also, a call has gone to stakeholders to work out modalities to return the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their respective communities using funds raised for the purpose to start the process.
The Executive Secretary of the CCC, retired Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, made this call yesterday in Abuja at the Centre’s monthly briefing. He said that government needs to be more responsive to warnings from the meteorological agency and the Cameroonian authorities stating that rainfall and the release of excess water from the Lagbo dam would cause flood disaster in some parts of the country.
“Given the destructive socio-economic impact of flood, it is critical that mitigating measures be put in place to forestall the consequences. It is precarious to rather wait for floods to happen and deal with the aftermath, instead of taking necessary precautionary steps that will minimize its devastating effects.”
Anas said a similar disaster that hit the country in 2012, when the overflow of water from the Cameroonian and Guinean dams coupled with the heavy rainfall experienced between May and September of that year, over 20 states in the federation were affected by flood waters, causing the destruction of lives and properties.
“Yet it did not come without a warning. The consequence of the flood saw over 363 people dead with about two million displaced. The states most affected then were Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Benue, Bayelsa, Kogi, Niger, Lagos, Cross River, Rivers and several others.”
Anas urged government to begin plans to return the IDPs in 27 identified camps across the country to their original communities.
On an assessment visit to some of the camps in Maiduguri, the Centre realised that there are other internally displaced persons who are not in the camps but are accommodated by relations or friends, but desire government’s assistance to return to their communities.