The Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has restated his administration’s readiness to collaborate with the United Nations in the effective management of the post-flood challenges facing displaced persons in the state.
Uduaghan, who stated this on Saturday during a Town Hall meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, organised by the state government as part of the official visit of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, Baroness Valerie Amos, said the state government alone cannot handle the post-flood challenges because of the enormous funds required.
He said his government was willing to partner with the United Nations to enable it effectively manage the post-flood challenges and mitigate the devastating effects of the flood on Deltans in the future.
According to him, “As a state with an office dedicated to foreign relations, we place a high premium on partnership with the international communities and global organizations.
“We cannot handle these challenges flood alone. “The state needs your help.
“We engage in a series of meetings in the US and Nigeria in order to make certain that the emergency situation in Delta is accorded its due priority and that the victims benefit directly from the intervening efforts of the WHO, UNDP, UNICEF and other implementing agencies of the UN.”
Uduaghan explained that Amos and her team were in the state to assess the extent of damage done by last year’s flooding and identify areas the United Nations can be of assistance to the state and displaced victims.
Speaking further, he enumerated the post flood challenges faced by the state to include the provision of farm seedlings and fertilizers to farmers in the affected communities, rehabilitation of affected houses and resettling those who lost their farm produce to the flood, stressing that most of the affected victims were farmers.
Uduaghan said the state was also faced with the problem of re-building destroyed houses for the victim but noted that the displaced victims have agreed to be relocated from flood prone areas to new settlements, adding that the decision also had its own challenges.
The governor observed that the state also has the responsibility of rebuilding destroyed primary and secondary schools in the affected communities to enable the children continue with their education, explaining that the Post Flood Disaster Committee estimated that it would cost about N1 billion to rehabilitate affected schools.
While stressing that his administration would continue to work hard to support the flood victims, who are vulnerable to the aftermath of the flood, Governor Uduaghan appealed for the support and cooperation of the United Nations agencies in this regards.
His words: “As a state government, we will continue to work hard to support the flood victims who have remained vulnerable in the aftermath of the flood.
“With your support, we know we will do even more and build on any modest stride following today’s assessment mission.”
In brief remark, Amos commended Uduaghan for his efforts and strategies in tackling the flood crisis and its aftermath.
She said that the United Nations was ready to partner with the Delta State Government in disaster management and post-flood challenges in the state so as to make a difference in the lives of the victims.
Baroness Amos noted that the United Nations would focus on technical and capacity building, the empowerment of women, education and health.
She said: “The United Nation will work together with Delta State in the area of women empowerment, education, health and technical expertise.”
Amos said the United Nations has received the report of the technical committee set up to access the flood crisis in the state and has been discussing with the World Bank on possible areas of assistance to Delta State.
Her words: “We want to ensure that the disaster management, especially on the flood crisis, is adequately done to have impact in the lives of the affected victims.”
In his address, the Chairman of the occasion and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Ike Nwachukwu, said: “Flood disasters should not be taken lightly as it is devastating.”
Nwachukwu asked Baroness Amos to help provide assistance and funding to Delta State and other states ravaged by floods last year as “no state has the capacity to handle the post-flood challenges facing them due to its enormous cost.”
He charged her to be an ambassador of the country by portraying the positive image she has seen during her visit.
Senator Nwachukwu commended Dr. Uduaghan on the management of last year’s flood disaster and the security challenges in the state.
He enjoined other state governments to emulate Delta State.