The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has been directed to immediately supply materials needed to build the permanent resettlement site for the communities affected by the construction of the 700MW Zungeru Hydro Power Project in Niger State.
Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo gave the directives on Thursday, when he visited Zungeru Primary School in Niger State, where persons displaced by the flooding resulting in the construction of the dam were camped.
Professor Osinbajo said; “They are going to start doing that immediately. We will also do our best to help everybody so that you can resettle well. Nobody wants to be in any trouble like this…You are hard working people, doing your work in your farms or trade. We want you to be able to go back and continue your work and your normal life.”
The vice president assured the displaced persons that government would do its best to make them comfortable in the camp by providing the basic things the Displaced persons needed.
“Be sure that from Abuja, we are paying attention to everything that is going on here. And we will make sure that we do everything necessary to make you as comfortable as possible and to resettle you as quickly as possible,” he stated.
Assessing the camp
Professor Osinbajo also went round the camp, interacting with the Displaced persons, inspecting the relief material provided at the camp and assessing the medical facilities.
Among the Displaced persons that the vice president interacted with were two mothers who delivered their babies at the camp.
He carried one of the babies and encouraged the mothers, acknowledging that the babies looked healthy while their mothers were happy.
Professor Osinbajo commended NEMA and the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA, for responding promptly to the disaster.
“I think we have a quick response here and I am extremely proud of the work the state government officials and the Nigerian government have done,” the Vice President added.
The State Governor, Abubakar Bello said the flood affected 130 communities in different local government areas.
Appeal for more support
Governor Bello appealed to the Nigerian government to offer more assistance to the state government to enable it tackle the problem effectively.
The representative of the communities affected by the flood, Muhammadu Manta told Voice of Nigeria at the camp that the flood, which resulted in the reservoir of water at the dam and the torrential rains, left many people dead.
He also said that ”all houses in the communities were destroyed while their farms were submerged in the flood.”
Manta expressed satisfaction at the way government responded to the disaster.
“First of all, they evacuated the people out of the danger zone. As we speak, we are about 16 kilometres from the affected communities. Evacuating the people was the best that happened,” he added.
The number of Displaced Persons at the Zungeru Primary School Camp was 1,200.