The Edo State Government has pledged support for residents of riverine communities in the state, noting that it has put in place adequate plans to provide relief to residents on the banks of River Niger in the state.

Addressing journalists during inspection of facilities at the Resettlement Camp, Udaba Ekperi in Etsako Central Local Government Area, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Engr. Osasere Evboumwan, said the state government plans to ensure proper relocation of residents in lowlands and riverine areas who might be displaced from their homes by the rising water levels occasioned by the overflow of the River Niger.

He said warning alerts have been issued to residents in lowlands, adding that food, blankets, medicines are available in the state’s warehouse.

Facilities at the camp include hostels (halls of residence), offices, toilets, bathrooms, water tanks, borehole, a standby 30kva generator, a backup solar borehole, and mosquito nets.

Other items include mattresses, pillows, a large outer kitchen, and a washroom to ensure good hygiene, among others.

In his remarks, Special Adviser to Edo State Governor (Political), Hon. Gowon Yakubu, said, “We have looked at the weather forecast for the year and we know riverine areas across the country, not just in Edo State, are going to be affected by flood, especially from the River Niger. Neighboring countries have opened their dams. Because we know this is going to happen, we had to move quickly to ensure that our IDP camp is in a good state in preparation for evacuation.”

He noted, “We have an administrative building and an area for medicals where we set up mini-clinics. We have an open kitchen. We have fumigated the place and we will carry out another fumigation and cleanup in case we have to bring people in here. We have 18 halls on both sides that can accommodate more than 1,500 people. Edo State is committed to ensuring that we are proactive in this issue.”

On his part, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Head of Operations in Edo State, Dahiru Yussuf, said, “We have a local contact in the local government area who gives daily reports on what is going on here. We have food and non-food items for people to be evacuated to assist them. We are ready to move in.”