By Peter Okolie
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it had so far provided support to thousands of victims affected by the 2018 flood disaster in 18 states to ameliorate the plights.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Peterside Dakuku made the disclosure while presenting some relief items to the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Awka on Thursday.
Some of the items donated to victims in Anambra included sewing and grinding machines, mattresses, blankets, diapers, palm and groundnut oil, detergents, noodles, bags of rice, maize, flour and beans.
Also donated were bags of salt, sugar and table water, among others.
Dakuku, who was represented by the Director, Internal Audit in the agency, Mr Victor Onuzuruike said 20 states were mapped out by the agency for the donation.
He said the donation had taken place in Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Benue, Kogi, Ondo, Edo, Ogun and Delta while Rivers and Katsina states were the two remaining left for the donation.
“We are here principally to associate ourselves with the calamities that befell our brothers and sisters sometime last year.
“We thought it wise to show concern to alleviate their plights; the items might not really solve all their problems but we believe they will go a long way to touching the lives of many,” he said.
The director-general attributed the late arrival of the items to bureaucracy in the system, promising that it would be corrected next time.
He also promised to return to the state with increased package in view of the enormity of the disaster.
The NIMASA boss said managing thousands of flood victims was not an easy task in terms of accommodation, feeding and other logistics.
He, therefore, urged individuals, churches and corporate organizations to show concern to the flood victims, noting that government alone could not cater for them.
Receiving the items on behalf of the state government, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Paul Odenigbo expressed appreciation to NIMASA for the gesture.
While assuring proper distribution of the items to the right persons, Odenigbo said the state was already preparing to manage any flood disaster that might occur this year.
“We expect more from them this year because we have been informed of impending flood which we have already made plans to mitigate.
“Last year, about 18, 000 persons were displaced by flood but the state government has already commenced sensitisation on what is required of people living in riverine areas.
“We are getting the 28 Internally Displaced Persons camps in the state ready in case of impending flood disaster in the state.
“They will be taken care of at the camp until the water recedes,” the executive secretary added.