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Flood: Iworiso-Markson Condoles With Victims, Proffer Ways To Mitigate Disaster

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A former Commissioner for Information and Orientation in Bayelsa State, Daniel Iworiso-Markson has condoled with victims of the ravaging flood disaster in the state, describing it as the worst in recent times.

Iworiso-Markson in a statement released in Yenagoa, said the reported loss of lives and displacement of people from their homes has caused untold pain to the affected families

He disclosed that he has reached out to some of the victims with relief materials to support them and urged well- meaning individuals and organizations to come to the aid of those affected.

He said: “My heart goes out to all those affected by the ravaging flood. My deepest sympathies and condolences to my beloved kinsmen in Ogbia Local Government Area who have suffered one form of loss or the other, particularly those from the Ayama axis.

“These are very trying times for all of us. I have been inundated with calls and text messages from many of our brothers and sisters who are displaced by the flood and it’s very unfortunate that I can only do very little to assist them, given the deluge or enormity of the requests seeking for help”.

Despite being a natural disaster, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the 2023 House of Representatives election for Ogbia Federal Constituency, said so much could have been done to mitigate the effect.

“While the flood situation in Bayelsa is no doubt perennial, I strongly believe there is so much we can do to mitigate its devastating effect. The loss of lives, destruction of properties, farmlands and displacement of our citizens from their homes because of unmitigated perennial flood disaster is no longer acceptable.

“We must begin from now to plan for the next flood cycle in order to avoid a more catastrophic disaster in future occasioned by worsening climate change. No doubt climate change is causing heavier downpours but even more disturbing is the rapid growth of cities and towns which further exacerbates flooding by covering up surfaces that could otherwise absorb rain water. But government at all levels need to be proactive and more strategic in addressing the flood crisis.

“There is need to urgently begin to put in place flood control mechanisms and infrastructure, such as levees, dams, seawalls, and tide gates to serve as as physical barriers to prevent rising or running water from causing flooding. Other measures, such as pump stations and channels to help reduce flooding must be established”.

He further said “The case of flooding in Bayelsa is even more compelling and requires urgent federal government intervention. But the state government must seize the initiative and rise to the occasion instead of waiting for the federal government especially where the lives of its citizens are involved.

“As a government, it’s important to begin to consider several ways to prevent flooding in the state as a means of mitigating the devastating effect on our citizens. One of which is to create a ‘sponge city’ like we have in China and Hong Kong. The state government can also create flood plains and overflow areas for rivers.

“Now is the time to start planning for the construction of embankments and flood walls across all the flood prone communities in the state to mitigate against the next flood cycle. Most of our riverine communities are in dire need of anti-erosion and protection works”.

Iworiso-Markson equally called on the state government to begin to contemplate the need to seek the help of experts to design a brand new drainage system for Yenagoa, the capital city.

The design and layout of a proper drainage system can build a great foundation for preventing floods and cause less headache over time”, he said.

The former Commissioner lauded the governor, Senator Douye Diri for graciously releasing the sum of N450m to help relocate victms to a temporal abode.

“It is a good start and I urge the governor to review the situation and make more funds available as more people might be affected in the coming days. I also commend him for setting up the flood management committee. Members of the committee should provide help lines for people to call from various communities. The committee should resist any attempt to divert relief materials to private homes”.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=82002

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