The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, on Wednesday, expressed sympathy for victims and communities affected by the devastating flood in the state, saying his government feels their pain and suffering.
This was just as he called on the Federal Government to partner with the state in working out a permanent solution to the flood by considering a dam to contain the waters.
Diri’s sympathy came amidst lamentations by residents in various flood-impacted communities that they are suffering untold hardships and appealed to the government for relief materials and relocation to temporary shelters.
Two persons- a 16-year-old boy identified as Temedi Yerimene and an unidentified woman- were reported to have died at Igbogene and Ogbogoro respectively, both in Yenagoa Local Government Area, as the surging flood ravaged the communities.
The governor, who spoke during the 90th Executive State Council Meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, on Wednesday, said the government would give top priority to alleviating the suffering of victims.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniels Alabrah, the governor said it was his concern for the victims that necessitated the setting up of the task force on flooding, which has visited more than 100 impacted communities.
He said the government was aware that some lives had been lost as well as homes and communities ravaged, noting that the state’s aquatic nature makes it heavily impacted as available reports indicate that comparatively, this year’s flood would be worse than that of 2012.
Diri said, “Let me assure our brothers and sisters that have been heavily impacted that while we pray the flood abates soon, your government will also do the needful as we have set up a committee during the previous state executive council meeting.
“The committee has been working tirelessly and it will present a report today on what they have done so far. From that, I believe that some succour will come from your state government.
“I also like to salute the courage of Bayelsans in the face of the ravaging floods. Homes and communities have been sacked. Our people are now living as IDPs (internally displaced persons). We have also recorded a few deaths and destruction of property due to the flood.
“The flood might not be new to us as a people as we also pride ourselves as being aquatic. However, the ratio of this year’s flood comparatively appears to be the highest. The report I have just received suggests that this would go beyond the 2012 floods.
“Our prayers are with our brothers and sisters that have been severely impacted. Every one of us, either directly or indirectly, has been impacted by the flood.”
He appealed to well-meaning citizens of the state to also come to the aid of the victims of the disaster.
He stressed the need for the Federal Government to collaborate with the state to come up with a lasting solution to the menace of the flood disaster and reduce its impact on the people and communities.