The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, has flagged off the distribution of presidential palliatives to victims of the 2022 flood in Akwa Ibom State.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Umana, while handing over relief materials to the National Emergency Management Agency for onward distribution to the victims on Monday, in Uyo, the state capital, expressed concern that the Niger Delta region was worse hit by the flood because of its topography and location.
Umana, who was represented by a member of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission for Akwa Ibom State, Dr Emem Wills, said the relief materials cannot replace the losses associated with the flood, but they would help to alleviate the burden faced by the people.
He said that the gesture was not just a physical distribution of the materials but also the compassion and empathy of the government towards the affected people.
“We are aware that no amount of relief provided by the government can replace the losses as a result of the flood. However, it is our candid belief that the relief items will help alleviate the burden currently faced by our people. This gesture is not just a physical distribution of materials, rather it represents the compassion and empathy of the government towards its people,” the minister said.
He disclosed that the communities highly affected by the flood have already been identified by the National Emergency Management Agency through the Needs Assessment conducted after the flood, adding that the identified communities have been listed to benefit from the relief materials.
Speaking after the handover ceremony, the Director-General of NEMA, Alh. Ahmed Habib, while appreciating the federal government for the gesture, assured that the items would be distributed only to those who were truly affected by the 2022 flood.
The DG, who was represented by Demien Egwu, lamented that the Niger Delta has been a collection centre of water-related activities from the North down to the South.
“The Niger Delta is always exposed to flooding and other attendant effects of flooding because it is the collection centre of all water-related activities from the North down to the South and anytime this happens, there is a need for a recovery process.
He thanked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for his magnanimity and support of the people of the Niger Delta.
“I want to assure the minister that these items will be distributed to those who were truly affected by the 2022 flood. We will do this in conjunction with the Akwa Ibom State Management Agency and other relevant stakeholders,” the DG said.
The materials approved for distribution include mattresses, pillows, blankets, cartons of noodles, bags of rice and beans, grinding machines, cement, roofing sheets, ceiling boards, and others.