Authorities of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday paid a condolence visit to the government and people of Kebbi State over the huge loss they suffered, both human and property losses, as a result of the flooding that ravaged 18 communities in the last two weeks.
Director-General of the agency, Mustapha Maihaja, who was represented on the visit by his Deputy Director, Search and Rescue Department, Dr. Bandele Onimode, said they were in the state on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to convey his deep sympathy to the government and the people of the various states affected by floods in the penultimate week.
He told stakeholders at the conference room of the deputy governor’s office that three issues brought them to the state, which includes holding stakeholders’ meeting, collating data on the destruction brought by the disaster and visiting disaster areas.
Onimode said by so doing, the Federal Government would be able, through NEMA, to adequately provide palliatives to the victims, adding that victims that suffered material losses would be adequately compensated.
The director-general explained further that the delay by NEMA to respond to such emergency cases as alleged by the Chairman, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), was not deliberate, pointing out that the quantum of restructuring going on at the headquarters of the agency had contributed to what looked like a delay in responding to emergency cases.
He promised that at the end of the ongoing restructuring, Nigerians would be proud of NEMA any time any day.
Earlier in his welcome address, SEMA Chairman, Alhaji Sani Dododo, told the visiting team that Kebbi State was worst hit by the flood that ravaged 18 out of the 21 local government area of the state.
Dododo said for now, there was no accurate date to measure property loss or damages incurred, because calamities occurred almost on regular basis as rain kept falling without ceasing thereby not allowing for proper evaluation.
He told the visitor that nine lives were lost in Zuru, where a serving Staff-Sergeant of the Nigerian Army serving at the 229 Tank Battalion in the town droned while trying to rescue a pregnant woman who was being swept away by flood.
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