By Yunus Yusuf
Lagos, Nov. 21, 2022 TotalEnergies Ltd. says it has committed about 1.5 million dollars to interventionist programmes to rescue flood victims in Rivers.
TotalEnergies Deputy Managing Director JV Asset, Mr Guillaume Dulout, said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.
Dulout said as part of the interventionist measures, TotalEnergies provided various relief materials and logistic assistance to assuage the sufferings of the people.
He said the company also provided medical assistance and daily feeding for victims in the four Internal Displaced Peoples (IDP) camps set up by the Egi Peoples Assembly.
He conveyed the company’s solidarity with the people of Egi and Ekpeye over the devastating floods that swept across the kingdoms, rendering families homeless, destroying farmlands and other sources of livelihood.
He said the company established a crisis management response team to alleviate the impact of the scourge on affected communities.
“Nine communities were impacted in Egiland and 90 villages in the Ekpeye kingdom.
“The impacted Egi communities were Akabuka, Oboburu, Idu, Obagi, Ogbogu, Ohali-Elu, Obite, Obigbor and Ede.
“We are here to stand with our people in Egi and Ekpeye.
“TotalEnergies is not just a responsible company but a responsive corporate citizen and committed member of the two kingdoms. That is why anything that affects our hosts, affects us too,” he said.
Dulout said TotalEnergies assistance to the communities did not stop at intervention, but that the company had developed five key areas of action as part of the post flood intervention programme.
“These areas include treatment and rehabilitation of water facilities to curb the issues of cholera and other diseases.
“Another area is the restoration of electricity occasioned by the destruction of electric poles and other facilities by the floods.
“The floods came with various diseases and to ameliorate this, the company is planning to organise a mass free health campaign where patients can be examined and provided with medications,” he said.
He explained that as part of the post flood remediation programme, TotalEnergies planned to repair some roads to ensure the free movement of people, goods, and vehicles.
“The devastation of farmlands will invariably have a negative impact on harvesting of farm produce for the people who are largely farmers.
“Experts fear this would lead to food shortage and hunger. Against this backdrop, TotalEnergies is providing enhanced cassava and yam seedlings to farmers for cultivation to help forestall widespread hunger in the affected communities.
“It is our hope that this gesture will ameliorate the current hardships faced by the victims of flooding in our communities.
“We wish to re-assure you of our commitment to partnering with our key stakeholders in bringing the desired development to our host communities,” Dolout stated, during his visit to the affected areas.
The statement quoted the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs as saying that more than 600 lives had been lost, with thousands injured and about 1.3 million displaced while hundreds of thousands of houses as well as vast tracts of farmland had also been destroyed.
The ministry said Egi and Ekpeye communities, host to TotalEnergies facilities in its OML 58 concession were not immune to the devastating floods.
The ministry said measures had been put in place to cushion the effect of flooding such as evacuation of over 5,000 people from flooded areas, daily feeding of 2,700 IDPs in four camps established at Akabuka GSS – Ogbogu CPS, Erema C school, Obite civic Centre.
Others are: provision of 165 life Jackets for rescuers and victims, hiring of 25 canoes to help in ferrying trapped victims, hiring of two outboard boats to also ferry trapped flood victims and four trucks to move victims to IDP camps, among others.