BAKASSI NATIVES HAIL GOVT OVER RELIEF MATERIALS
It was celebration galore at Dayspring Island II in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State as the natives hailed the government over the donation of relief materials to victims of fire disaster in the community.
It could be recalled that in January this year, fire gutted the fishing settlements destroying over 100 huts and properties including large quantities of fish, electronics, clothes and cash worth millions of naira and displacing about 250 persons including women and children.
Of course, the Sen. Liyel Imoke-led administration had promised to come to their rescue and in the demonstration of goodwill to them, relief materials worth millions of naira have been donated to the victims to cushion the hardships faced by the community.
Impressed by this gesture, the leaders of the community which was ousted by fire disaster early this year have lauded the administration for keeping its promise as well as exploiting avenues to shore up the revenue capacity of the State in its fishing business.
In an address while receiving relief materials from the state government at the Island, Mr. Edet Eneyo, spokesperson of the community, commended the concern of government about their plight.
Receiving the materials for onward distribution to the fire disaster victims, the chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area represented by the vice chairman, Hon. Chief Orok Eneyo, promised that the materials would be distributed to the affected persons.
He used the opportunity to reassure the people of the council's willingness to encourage the youths of the community to enhance their fishing trade in whichever way possible.
In a remark, the Chief of Mbak Etoi in Dayspring Island II and a victim of the disaster, Chief Effiong Eyo Ekpo, said the generosity of government would go down in the history books of the Island saying that it has wiped tears off their eyes and solicited for boats, outboard engines and clothes which were burnt during the inferno.
Presenting the relieve materials earlier to the jubilant community, the Director General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Mr. Vincent Aquah MON, said that Government's magnanimity was born out of a sustained sensitivity to every sector of the economy in need of assistance.
Mr. Aquah said that the Dayspring Islands of Bakassi was of high value in the economic map of the state considering the amount of fish, crayfish, prawns and other Sea foods supplied from the community.
The DG who was represented by the Assistant Director in charge of Information in the Agency, Mr. David Akate reiterated Government's determination and willingness to efficiently and effectively serve the needs of everyone living within the borders of the State.
While urging them to use the materials judiciously and to put behind them the ugly incident of the fire disaster that burnt down the entire fishing community early this year, the DG warned them against indiscriminate use of fire to avoid recurrence.
He lamented that the state was already groaning under the weight of very high disaster portfolio associated with the state, ranging from flooding, landslides, gully erosions, fire, communal clashes and windstorms adding that everything must be done to avert or reduce effect of any form of disaster in the state.
The DG stated that the visit of the Government to any of the many Islands and fishing settlements within the state should be for reason of commissioning of developmental projects rather than providing succour to victims of avoidable disasters.
When Daily Sun visited the Island, it was observed that all the huts were constructed with elevations above the marshy floors giving them unique postures disaster as well as the provision of portable drinking water which had remained a big problem in the community.
Items donated included: Rice, Beans, mattresses, wood, cement, zinc and fishing nets.