Kogi State government, yesterday, said it had taken proactive steps to ensure flood victims in Lokoja and other parts of the state are temporarily accommodated.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some houses, roads and farmlands in communities in Lokoja, such as Adankolo, Ganaja, Kabawa and Gadumo, among others, have been submerged by flood.
Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Wemi Jones, and his Ministry of Environment counterpart, Victor Omofaiye, gave the assurance when they inspected facilities at St. Luke Model Schools, Lokoja.
Also in the team were the Chairman, Kogi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Suleiman Ndalaye, and some officials of the board.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the facility tour, Jones said the essence of the inspection was to ascertain facilities in the schools that could temporarily accommodate flood victims.
He said they wanted to ensure the facilities were suitable for the expected Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and also notify the schools’ management and staff.
Jones said: “The purpose of our coming is to get ready for incident of flood ravaging our city; we want to get ourselves ready to manage the crisis and prevent it from becoming a full-scale disaster.”
Omofaiye said the inspection was a continuation of facility assessment to ensure places reserved for IDPs were safe.
He said awareness campaign on flooding had been carried out earlier, warning people living in flood prone areas to relocate, but many did not adhere.
He said: “For now, we cannot ascertain the level of destruction. But I want to let you know that it is actually massive. Farmlands have been submerged and property worth millions of naira has been destroyed.
“We are just trying to see how federal and state governments and non-governmental organisations can come to the aid of these victims.”
He, therefore, called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and non-governmental organisations to come to the aid of flood victims by providing palliative.
Also speaking, Ndalaye said the management and staff of the selected schools were prepared to receive the flood victims. He stressed that the centres had been used in previous events of flooding to accommodate affected persons.
Ndalaye noted that the “centres have more than 50 rooms that can accommodate more than 10,000 people.” He said security measures have also been put in place to ensure safety of life and property of the people.