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4 Sep 2017

MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT VISITS MAKURDI, CANVASSES MORE SUPPORT FOR BENUE

By: Ede Ogaba Ede 

Struck by the level of devastation and the extent of the ecological problems facing Benue state, Governor Samuel Ortom and the minister of State, ministry of Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril have both called for more support from government and donor agencies, humanitarian organisations, corporate bodies and rich individuals to assist the state cope with the enormous challenges thrown by the flood disaster.
Governor Ortom who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his prompt intervention and for moving the headquarters of NEMA to Makurdi however called for more assistance and support to enable the state address the acute ecological problems believed to be hugely responsible for the disaster.
He spoke today at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi while receieving the minister of State who is in Benue to commiserate with people of the state and to also further assess the situation and find ways of collaborating with the government to address the present challenge as well as averting a repeat of the tragedy.
Governor Ortom who said the construction of massive water channels or drainages is the only solution to the massive flooding that rendered tens of thousands of people homeless however condemned the attitude of building structures on waterways and stated government decision to demolish all such structures.
He disclosed that 21 local government areas are affected by the disaster and lamented that if the money given to the state in 2013 for ecological problems were utilized by the government then, the problem today might have been averted.
Alhaji Jibril who visited one of the IDP’s camp and was conducted round a few of the badly affected areas by the state deputy governor and chairman of the Committee on the flood disaster, Engr Benson Abounu told newsmen that the state needs massive assistance to enable it properly cope with the huge problems wrought by the flood.
Alhaji Jibril who condemned the attitude of building structures on waterways called on the state government to take a second look at the Makurdi masterplan and see how to deal with the serious problem of blocking the waterways with unauthorized buildings.
Speaking to the internally displaced persons housed at the Makurdi International market, Engr Abounu and Alhaji Jibril in separate messages commiserated with them and asurred them that everything is been done by President Buhari and Governor Ortom to lessen their pains.
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