The Ogun State Government has enjoined authorities of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to always give prompt attention to reports of natural disasters. Doing this, the government noted would help bring quick succour to affected people and lessen their sense of loss.
Commissioner for Environment, Engineer Ayo Olubori made this call during an on-the-spot assessment to disaster-ravaged areas in Ijebu –Igbo, Ijebu North Local Government area of the State where over 400 houses were blown off by rainstorm.
Olubori assured that government would do everything possible to cushion the effects of the disaster on the members of about 500 households affected by complementing the initial donation of relief materials provided by the NEMA.
“The State Government sympathized with the affected people in particular and the people of Ijebu North Local government in general, but we charge the authorities of NEMA to always give prompt consideration to reports of natural disaster so as to hasten the succour expected by the victims. In the same vein, we do not expect NEMA to politicize the relief given to victims and the internally Displaced People as the money used in procurement of relief materials is drawn from our commonwealth”, Olubori noted.
He also appealed to citizens to imbibe the culture of tree planting to serve as wind-breakers, pointing out that research had shown that where available, tress could help reduce the devastating effects of a natural disaster like the rain storm.
Responding, the Director – General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sanni Sidi, represented by the South – West Co-ordinator of the agency, Town Planner Iyiola Akanbi thanked God that no life was lost inspite of massive destruction caused by the incident, assuring that relief materials would be given to the victims very soon.
“Obviously, the destruction is massive but we thank God that no death was recorded. At present, about 250 houses were seen to have been devastated, though still assessing, we assure that relief materials like building materials, food stuffs, mattresses, blankets and many more shall be brought to the victims soon” Sidi pledged.
He corroborated the thinking of the Commissioner on the importance of planting tree to mitigate the effects of natural disaster, urging State Governments to consider tree planting as a condition for giving building approvals.
“Just as it is now a culture at the Federal level, I strongly advise that State governments should also include tree planting as part of the criteria to be fulfilled before building approvals are given. Infact, it should be mandatory that the house owner must have planted trees six months before the commencement of building of the structure”, Sidi advocated.