Activist community

‘Floods bringing dead bodies of unidentified people into our community’ – Victims lament slow government response

Residents of Ihuike in Ahoada East Local Government Area (LGA) in Rivers State have complained about the slow response from the federal and state governments to provide them with relief materials at the following their displacement by the floods.

Residents, currently sheltering in a camp for internally displaced people in Edeoho town, said they needed basic materials to survive.

A video made available to THE WHISTLER showed a large number of women and children, many of whom were seated on chairs in a classroom used as a camp for displaced persons, some lying on the small mattresses available and others on the concrete floor.

Some of them only managed to pack a few kitchen utensils and personal effects that could only last them a few days.

Displaced residents who remained in the camp for nearly three weeks asked the federal government to provide medical services because of their living conditions. THE WHISTLER learned that only children use the mattress while adults sleep on the concrete floor, which is harmful to their health.

“We need the doctors to check us, we’re not sleeping well and that’s our problem. We want them to bring doctors because the mosquitoes are bothering us and we are cold,” said one of the displaced women.

Sheikh Abdulrazak, a climate justice activist and resident of the community, told this newspaper that the flood not only displaced residents, but washed away the bodies of unidentified people in the community, noting that the government’s response to the situation is not encouraging.

While answering questions about the effect of the flooding, Abdulrazak said, “What about the humans who are being displaced to their various communities and farms, and the supplies of relief materials in terms of palliatives to the victims. ?

“Government concerns and response have not been encouraging in these areas. Their responses are slow and what we need is quick response when issues like this, which threaten property safety and life, arise. The government was unable to act quickly”.

Speaking further, he acknowledged that although the flood recedes, residents would not forget how the flood swept away vehicles and seaplanes and swept unidentified corpses into the community.

“It was difficult to identify who is who because of the way the water washed away human beings and other property, including land,” he said, pointing to the damaged road east- west that connects commuters intending to travel to other oil-producing states. .

THE WHISTLER had reported the effect of flooding on the east-west highway, including the displacement of Ahoada LGA residents from the state. Many of them have also been confirmed to have died after natural disasters swept through their homes.

Abdulrazak noted that the main road is completely damaged as the flood destroyed the bridge. He accused the government of failing to learn from the flood experience disaster in 2012.

“Government policy on flooding, erosion and hydropower resource control should have a human face because we have not learned the lessons of the past.

“In 2012 the same thing happened, a devastating flood of this nature happened, and that would have been a benchmark for us to prepare and plan for, in terms of safety response. The engineering standards If they are followed, you will not see the road fail,” he added.

The flood affected more than three million people across the country, of whom at least 600 are believed to have lost their lives and 1.5 million Nigerians displaced from their homes.