Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), on Wednesday reiterated that the Ministry is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Committee towards alleviating the flooding disaster in the Niger Delta Region (NDR).
The Minister stated this at the official presentation of the Inter-Agency Committee’s report on the assessment of potential impact of flooding and level of preparedness in the Niger Delta Region for 2020 seasonal rainfall in his office in Abuja.
He said, “Over the years, the Niger Delta Region has witnessed varying degrees of environmental challenges that have had a tremendous negative impact on not only the people of the region but also of the Nation as a whole.
“One of these environmental challenges that have assumed annual occurrence is the seasonal flooding of the area with its catastrophic consequences; hence the inauguration of the Inter-Agency Committee.”
The Minister assured that the report of the Committee will be forwarded to Federal Executive Council (FEC), as well as all the Governors, Local Governments, the International Oil Companies located in the Niger Delta Region, stating that “flooding is a challenge and everyone must have a say because it affects lives of people.”
The Committee which was inaugurated on 1st September, 2020 was amongst others, charged with examining the perennial flooding problem in the region, determine flood monitoring mechanisms, flood notification protocols, flood evaluation protocols, flood response taskforce, setup requirement and readiness and also identify areas of importance that attention will be needed for future planning and effective impact management.
According to a statement by Patricia Deworitshe, Director Press and Public Relations, Akpabio reiterated that flooding has claimed lives and destroyed property despite sensitization, early warning and awareness creation, adding that this year’s rainy season is becoming severe and displaying its intensity in different flood prone areas of the region.
He commended the efforts of the Committee for living up to expectation, assuring that the Ministry will take proactive and necessary mitigation measures to remedy the situation.
Earlier in his remarks, Dr. Babayo Ardo, the Permanent Secretary, stated that, following the persistent flooding in the Niger Delta Region resulting to loss of lives and property, the Ministry inaugurated an Inter-Agency Committee to look into the near and remote causes of flooding in the Niger Delta Region, assess its impact and proffer recommendations that will mitigate the impact of flooding in the region.
Engr. Dr. E. O Mbie, the Chairman of the Committee, in his speech, said that the Committee worked assiduously in line with the Terms of Reference (ToR) to prepare and present the report, adding that the implementation of the recommendations made in the report will help the region develop highly integrated flood management approach with emphasis on prevention, mitigation, preparedness and recovery.