Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has said the Federal Government has not rendered any financial assistance to alleviate the plight of those affected by flood.
He also said the state had spent about N500 million on the upkeep of displaced persons.
Dickson disclosed this in a statement, where he noted that the state has only received around 400 bags of rice as intervention from the Federal Government in the raging flood that has sacked about 70 per cent of communities and destroyed properties worth billions of Naira in the state.
According to Dickson, the state government was struggling with the responsibility of ensuring the maintenance of those internally displaced by the flood and ensuring they return to their homes afterwards.
“Other than receiving about 400 bags of rice for thousands of displaced people, I cannot point to any concrete help the Federal Government has rendered. No cash support, not even in 2012 did the state government receive any monies from the Federal Government. I know that we raised some money on our own and some agencies and philanthropic individuals and companies came to our rescue,” he said.
Dickson called on public-spirited individuals, organisations and donor agencies to come to the aid of the victim, noting that while the state government was doing its best to alleviate the suffering of the displaced persons, there was the challenge of inadequate funds to deal decisively with the situation.
His words: “I want to use this opportunity also to call on public-spirited individuals and organisations, partners and donor agencies to please come to the aid of the people of my state. People in the state are terribly displaced and are living in very terrible conditions. How many IDP camps can we build?
“We are trying our best to help them manage a very bad situation. We’ve got two issues to deal with — taking care and ensuring that the IDPs are managed for as long as the flooding situation lasts, and also the challenge of helping them to return to their homes in order to be resettled to continue with their lives after the flood. It is truly challenging considering that we are still in a recession.
“The state government doesn’t have funds for most of these. We have spent over half a billion now in the area of giving support to these IDPs, the construction of the various centres, providing relief materials, medical care, support to law enforcement agencies to assist in evacuation and maintenance of law and order in the IDP camps and so on and so forth.”