Bayelsa Prepared To Handle Speculated Flood — Committee Chairman
The Bayelsa Post-Flood Management Committee says the state has taken the necessary steps to mitigate the impending floods as predicted by the Nigerian Metrological Services agency (NIMET).
Chief Francis Doukpola, the Chairman of the committee, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Yenagoa that the state government had made contingency plans to handle the expected flood.
In February, NIMET released the rainfall predictions for the year and announced that Bayelsa, among South-South states, was expected to have heavy rains and therefore, prone to flooding.
Doukpola said that efforts were ongoing to construct permanent structures across the state to forestall displacement of flood victims outside their communities.
He said that several studies had been conducted, while artificial canals were being built to divert flood waters away from human settlements.
According to him, the studies will assist the state to properly align ongoing infrastructural projects to resist the flood menace.
'I can confidently say that we are better prepared this year than last year, because we were taken by surprise last year. This time around, we have been working to contain the anticipated flooding.
'The governor has charged the committee to make sure that our people are prepared to face the flood if it comes and we can say that we are putting structures in place to have safe locations for people to stay should their houses get flooded again.
'There will be no need for people to flee their communities again in search of refuge because the camps will be within the communities this time around.'
On the assistance to victims of the 2012 flood, the chairman said that the government had commenced the distribution of building materials to victims whose houses were destroyed by the flood.
According to him, the victims have taken delivery of some 12,000 bags of cement to over 300 communities affected by the flood incident across Bayelsa.