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Diri approves additional N450 million for relief materials

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Governor Douye Diri has approved an additional sum of N450,000,000 naira to the Bayelsa State Flood Mitigation and Management Task Force as part of efforts to provide more relief materials such as food items and medical supplies to the increasing number of flood victims across the state.

The additional N450 million makes the total of funds so far released to the committee stand at N900 million.

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The State Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy, Hon Ayibaina Duba who disclosed this in a chat with journalists in his office in Yenagoa on Tuesday reiterated the Diri administration is committed to providing succour to all victims of the devastating flood and giving a lifeline to those who have lost everything, including houses and businesses to the flood.

Duba explained that the additional amount of 450million naira would go a long way at procuring food and medicine for distribution to many citizens in the eight local government areas of the state who are running short of the initial basic provisions and food supplied to them by the state government.

He assured that the government will also sustain the effective management of the IDP camps with about 20, 000, 00 inmates.

Meanwhile, the Flood Mitigation and Management Taskforce has taken delivery of more food items procured for distribution to flood-impacted and displaced residents of the state.

Briefing newsmen at the Oxbow Lake Jetty in Yenagoa, the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Flood Mitigation and Management Taskforce, Mr Iselema Gbaranbiri said the items were conveyed through the waterways because the destruction of the East/ West Road which has cut off access to the state.

Gbaranbiri added that the Nigerian Airforce was also assisting the state to airlift some of the food items from Lagos and Port Harcourt to Yenagoa.

He assured that the items received are being distributed with dispatch so that those in need can get the supplies immediately, stressing that the distribution of relief materials to impacted communities in the state is continuing until the needs of the impacted are met.

Gbaranbiri declared that the state government will also continue with the provision of two meals daily to displaced persons in various IDP camps apart from providing them medical services, potable water and other emergency aids.

Fielding questions from Journalists on the cost of food and other items in the state, the Commissioner said the Governor has inaugurated a committee to interface with marketers in order to bring down the cost of items.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency Hon Walaman Igburubia, advised the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to use the waterways or consider airlifting relief materials instead of the disappointing delay because Bayelsa is inaccessible by road through the East/ West road for now.