The Technical Committee on Flood Impact Assessment set up by the Delta State Government has said that about N10 billion was required for the reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by flood as well as the resettlement of victims of the flood that devastated the state last year.
At a public presentation of its report on Monday in Asaba, the state capital, Prof. Chris Orubu, who presented the report on behalf of the Technical Committee, disclosed that 231 communities in 12 local government areas of the state were adversely affected.
Besides, he said that 220 primary schools and 84 secondary schools were damaged, 357 fish farms destroyed, 753 market stores were affected.
Orubu, who described the flood as the worst in the last 50 years, said the cost of road maintenance was not accommodated in the report.
He however recommended immediate fumigation and construction of deep well water in the villages affected by the flood.
Calling for the rehabilitation of failed portions of roads in the rural areas, Orubu recommended the supply of farm implements and machines to farmers.
Orubu said the Committee recommended for improved weather forecasting system to ensure accuracy in predictions as well as cross country management of rivers to check flooding.
Orubu, who said the Committee’s report was divided into short and long term proposals, stated that the Committee was optimistic that when all natural water channels were opened up, flooding in the state would be minimized.
The chairman of the Technical Committee and Vice Chancellor, Delta State University, Abraka, in his remarks before the presentation of the report, said more mud houses were destroyed during the flood disaster and requested the state government to establish a database that would vividly capture the depth of the flood disaster.
He regretted that while the committee was preparing its report, some unscrupulous elements made attempt to influence the committee’s report negatively.
He however said members of the committee resisted the fifth columnist stoutly and came up with an objective report which he said even though was technical in nature but was simplified for the understanding of all those who would come across the report.
Receiving the report, the state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, appealed to the Federal government, corporate organizations and individuals to assist the state contend with the enormous problems the flood disaster heaped on the state.
Uduaghan disclosed that it would be difficult for the state government to raise N10 billion for the reconstruction of infrastructures and resettlement of flood victims and promised to send the report to the Alhaji Aliko Dangote-led national committee on flood disaster as well as the National Emergency Management Agency for study.
He however said that his administration would work in collaboration with the state House of Assembly to raise more funds to deal with the situation.
He said: “This problem is enormous for the state government to shoulder alone because it is not going to be easy for the state government to raise N10 billion for the reconstruction of infrastructures.
“The Federal Government gave us N500 million grant but we have not touched the money as we have been spending funds from our coffers.”
Explaining that the state government had put measures in place to check flood occurrences, Uduaghan said: ‘’We are going to remove all structures blocking all water ways and any building permit on natural water ways will be revoked and the building pulled down with government sanctioning the officer responsible.”
Membership of the Prof Arubayi led-committee was drawn entirely from departments at the state-owned Delta State University, Abraka.