Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has established some dedicated call lines to enable residents in the state report cases of high-water level in their areas due to the impending flood expected to hit the state soon.
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA) had listed nine states, including Bayelsa State, on the axis of River Niger and three others on the River Benue axis were set to experience floods.
The mobile numbers which are 08025814636, 08110413567 and 09037582261 were provided by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson as part of efforts of the Bayelsa State Government to ensure it combats the flood and mitigates effects.
Investigation revealed that people in coastal communities like Biseni have started relocating their property to safe places to avoid its destruction by the flood.
In a joint statement, on Monday, by Iworiso-Markson and his Environment counterpart, Hon. Ebipatei Apaingolo, the state government said the emergency call lines will be open 24 hours, every day of the week.
The statement urged Bayelsans to take advantage of the mobile numbers to report flood cases and also support government’s effort by keeping their immediate environment clean and open up drains within their vicinity.
The statement added that monitoring teams would be set up soon to go round the state to monitor flood prone areas and also respond swiftly to any emergency situation.
According to the statement, the state government is partnering with relevant stakeholders and experts including the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to ensure that the situation if it occurs is put under control and insisted that there is no reason to panic.
The statement maintained that the proactive measures are geared towards preventing any reoccurrence of the 2012 flood disaster in the state, “even though floods are natural disasters and inevitable”.
It would be recalled that the 2012 flood disaster was one of the biggest challenge of the Restoration Government but it rose to it, as Governor Seriake Dickson spared no effort to ensure that the state was not consumed by the disaster.
The statement averred that Governor Dickson has mandated the Ministry of Information and Orientation and that of Environment to carry out the task of coordinating sensitization and monitoring efforts to safeguard residents and called on every one to play their own role.