A renowned Niger Delta born human rights and environmental justice advocate, Comrade (Chief) Mulade Sheriff has charged Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State to proactively put measures in place in other to curb flooding in Delta communities following the recent heavy rains and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) prediction for August, 2023.
Comrade Mulade, who is the National Coordinator of Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, gave the charge on Friday 18th August, 2023 in Abuja while speaking on the impact of flooding in the country, particularly Niger-Delta region, at a conference organized by environmental experts, towards addressing the various environmental challenges associated with flooding in Nigeria.
The conference which drew environmental experts from around the world, featured presentations on policies and methods of curbing and managing flood in Nigeria. For his part, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, charged the Federal and state governments, especifically the Delta State Governor, to proactively put measures and strategies in place to curb flooding in Delta state.
He said, according to the prediction of NEMA, about nineteen (19) states would experience flooding in August, 2023 and Delta State is one of them; adding that, based on the prediction, fifty-six (56) communities might be submerged, and communities likely to experience heavy flooding are those situated in low lands and riverine areas of Delta State.
In the early quarters of 2023, CEPEJ under the directive of its National Coordinator, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, embarked on community sensitization on flood control, what to do before, during and after flood, and provided safety tips on flood, and ways to stay safe in flood-prone communities in Delta, Bayelsa and other Niger Delta States, to create awareness in traditional rulers, chiefs, women, youths, and community leaders on how to protect the lives and property of their people during flood as predicted by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA, on February 17, 2023, annual flood outlook in Nigeria. In line with that simple but proactive measure, Comrade Sheriff Mulade urged the Delta state government to adopt pragmatic approach and act fast by provide the needed assistance and save the lives and property of Deltans living in such a disadvantaged region of the State before it is too late.
Comrade Mulade further urged the state government to set up a committee of environmental experts both in the Ministry and non-governmental organizations, NGO etc, to work directly with government environmental agencies to urgently constructing flood Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, relocating individuals and communities to higher lands, providing relief materials and medicines for victims.
I want to sincerely commend the Delta State Government led by Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori for clearing and evacuating debris from blocked drains and opening up water channels across measure cities in Delta State as part of efforts to nip and control the imminent flood in the State and i urge residents of the State to obey government instructions and directives.