by crossriverwatch admin
The Cross River State government has formally handed over building materials worth several millions of Naira to the flood ravaged Eja Community in Obubra LGA to fast track the relocation of victims.
The materials included zinc, sand, gravel and cement. Performing the ceremony at the Eja Community Primary School, the State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke said the exercise was in fulfillment of his earlier promise to relocate the Community located at the bank of the Cross River to a higher ground to avoid the perennial flooding the community has experienced over time.
Governor Imoke who was represented by the Special Adviser, Special Duties Mr. Pius Okpa recalled that though the flooding of Eja Community had become perennial for some years now, the 2012 disaster was unprecedented.
According to him, following the 2013 NIMET prediction of high rainfall pattern with its attendant flooding, the community was vulnerable and required urgent relocation.
Governor Imoke advised that the materials should be put to use immediately for the construction of buildings by the families that were affected by the 2012 flooding so as to avoid being caught up in another disaster.
He assured that his administration would remain committed to address with zeal and pragmatism the needs of every community in Cross River state affirming that the well being of the people was paramount.
The Governor lamented that 2012 flooding in the state occasioned by high rainfall and aggravated by the discharge of excess water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon destroyed houses, public structures and farms and displaced over 3,000 persons.
This according to him brought untold socio-economic hardship on the people especially in the areas of shelter, clothes, food and sanitation.
He used the occasion to urge the people of the state to adhere to environmental practices that would not negate the stance of government to reduce the effect of such natural disasters by discouraging deforestation and other harmful environmental practices.
In an interview, the Clan Head of Eja, Chief Livinus Ekpe said that the exercise was the best thing that had ever happened to the people and that they will remain grateful to the governor and his cabinet .
A youth (30) Mathew John said that what had happened has increased their faith in the Imoke administration and that all strata of the society should take a cue from it for the betterment of the society.
But the representative of Obubra state constituency II in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Alex Irek (APC) told CrossRiverWatch that he is not hopeful that the people will use the materials well.
“I do not think that this is the right approach to this matter. The government should have come in to build houses and allocate to affected persons. These materials that have been distributed will not be used appropriately by these persons.
“We have had similar instances in the past where people collect these things and sell them for a token and will not bother to build any house. It is not enough to come and just share building materials for flood victims. What else will they do to enable them use those materials to build a new home. I still think that the best thing government should have done was to build these houses and allocate to the affected persons”. He said.
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