The Kogi state government on Tuesday said it was taking proactive measures to ensure that flood victims in Lokoja and other parts of the state are temporarily housed.
Some homes, roads, and farmlands in Confluence City communities like Adankolo, Ganaja, Kabawa, and Gadumo, among others, were submerged by flooding.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, the Hon. Wemi Jones and his Ministry of Environment counterparts Hon. Victor Omofaiye gave the assurance when they led a team to jointly inspect accommodation facilities at Saint Luke Adankolo Model Schools, Lokoja.
Also in the team were the Chairman of Kogi State Universal Besic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr. Suleiman Ndalaye and some board officials.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the facility tour, Jones said the essence of the inspection was to check facilities at schools that could temporarily house flood victims.
He said they wanted to make sure the facilities were conducive for the expected internally displaced persons (IDPs), and also brief school management and staff.
“The purpose of our coming is to prepare for a flood incident that is ravaging our city; we want to prepare to manage the crisis and prevent it from becoming a full-scale disaster,” Jones said.
For his part, the environment commissioner, said the inspection was a continuation of the assessment of facilities to ensure that places reserved for displaced people were safe to accommodate them.
Omofaiye noted that a necessary awareness campaign had been carried out earlier in the event of flooding, warning people living in flood-prone areas to move, but many of them did not adhere.
“At this time we cannot determine the level of destruction, but I want to let you know that it is in fact massive.
“Farmlands have been submerged and properties worth millions of naira have been destroyed.
“We’re just trying to see how federal and state governments and NGOs can help these victims,” he said.
He called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), non-governmental organizations to come to the aid of flood victims by providing them with the necessary palliatives to cushion the effects.
Also speaking, the Chairman of SUBEB said that the management and staff of the selected schools are ready to receive the flood victims.
He pointed out that the centers had been used during previous floods to accommodate those affected in the state.
Ndalaye noted that the centers have more than fifty rooms to accommodate more than 10,000 people, adding that security measures had been put in place to ensure the safety of people’s lives and property.