Determined to reduce the effect of flooding in the state, the Kogi Government has commenced sensitisation and awareness campaign for the residents of riverine areas.
The Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, said the campaign would cover nine flood prone local government areas across the state.
According to her, the essence of the campaign in those communities was to ensure that people at the grassroots, especially riverine areas who were most prone to flood were properly sensitised.
She noted that the governor had declared a State of Emergency on environment due to the forecast predicted by Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) of the likely reoccurrence of 2012 cycle of flood. She added that some of the predictions made had started coming to pass, stressing that some communities in Kogi had actually experienced flooding in the first peak in June and July. “The second peak of the rain when Kogi may likely be affected, is expected possibly by late August and early September when the rain would fall consistently and likely cause more flooding.
“In addition, there is possibly the release ofwaters from dams that come into the stateexcluding the ones generated locally; this is enough to get everyone worried.“ The message is simple, if you were affected by the 2012 flood, then move upland, because between now and the nextone month, we will see much more activities of rain. “So, it is important to sensitise, encourage and compel the people where necessary tomove away from flood plains. Hence, the need to send our sensitisation team to the communities that may be affected.“
We are also excited that the state government was able to collaborate with National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with lots of assessment in those areas last week. “The State is at the stage of readiness and we are soliciting the support of all stakeholders to identify sites for camps in the event of evacuation of those communities,“ We are excited that our governor is giving the needed support to ensure that the proper things are done in case of any emergency,” Osikoya said.
The affected Local Government Areas, according to the commissioner were Lokoja, Konto-Karfe, Ibaji, Ajaokuta, Igalamela, Idah, Ofu, Omala and Bassa Local Government Areas.