By Funmilayo Okunade
Ilawe-Ekiti (Ekiti State), Oct. 9, 2020 Ekiti State Government has assured flood victims in Ilawe-Ekiti, Ekiti Southwest Local Government Area, of assistance to mitigate the losses they incurred in the disaster.
Naija247news reports that the Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, gave the assurance on Friday while visiting areas submerged by floods in the area to assess the level of damage done by the continuous downpour.
Egbeyemi noted that property, worth millions of naira, including residential buildings, business centres, places of worship, farms, vehicles and goods were submerged in the flood.
Sympathising with the victims, Egbeyemi directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to commence immediate documentation of the affected victims with a view to assisting them cushion the effect of the losses.
He described the damage done by the heavy downpour and the accompanying flood as very sad and disheartening.
Egbeyemi, joined during the visit to the affected neighbourhoods by the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, directed the Chairman of the Ekiti Southwest Local Government Area, Mr Amire Kolade, to assess other parts of the town affected and report back to his office for further action.
Egbeyemi appealed to residents of the state to listen to the weather forecast of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) with a view to being prepared for eventualities at all times.
He said: “We sympathise with you for what has happened and pray that you will not experience this again. We will give you succour. Cooperate with SEMA officials on the ground to carry out the task.”
Egbeyemi promised that government will do everything possible to avert such occurrence in future, assuring that the Gov. Kayode Fayemi-led administration will take measures to assist the victims.
Many of the affected residents who narrated their ordeal to the deputy governor, described the flood as unprecedented and called on the state government to save their lives and businesses with support in cash and kind.
Some of the neighbourhoods affected include Oke Ibedo, Iro, Ijuku, Araromi, Adin, Oke Emo, Afuremu, Irorin, Okepa and Aaye and the fence of the Alawe’s palace which was pulled down.
The Alawe, Oba Alabi, who described the disaster as the first in the history of the town, said that thousands of people were affected and called for the intervention of both the local and state governments.
Alabi said: “This has not happened in this town before and we pray it doesn’t happen again. We express our appreciation to the state government for their prompt response, we thank our Deputy Governor for this visit.”
The monarch, who is also the Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in Ekiti State, blamed the floods on the lack of drainage and good layout in some streets.
A community leader, Mr Lawrence Egunjobi, expressed shock at the level of damage done by the flood, and called on government to, as a matter of urgency, come to the aid of those rendered homeless.
Another community leader, Chief Sesan Ojo, said several houses had been washed away by the flood and urged government to assist in addressing some of the factors responsible for incessant flooding in the state.
According to NIMET forecast, Ekiti is among the 28 states of the federation to be affected by heavy rains and massive flooding between September and October 2020 which prompted the state government to embark on sensitization programmes for residents on safety measures to prevent flooding.
By Funmilayo Okunade