By Festus Ahon
ASABA—DELTA State Government has warned residents of the state especially those living at lower end of the Niger Basin against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drainages to avoid flooding.
Speaking in Asaba, through the Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Mr. Ernest Ogwezzy, during the presentation of relief materials to 60 victims of fire disaster from Pessu Market in Warri and 11 victims of rainstorm disaster in Oleh, the government blamed fire and rainstorm disasters on improper fuel storage, power surge, illegal connection of electricity, blocked drainages and indiscriminate felling of trees.
Disclosing that the 63 fire victims from Warri were given N3 million, Ogwezzy said the 11 victims of rainstorm disaster from Oleh got N1.5 million, amounting to N4.5 million.
According to him, the relief assistance was not to pay for the damages the victims suffered but to alleviate their sufferings, noting that officials of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, had visited the communities to commiserate with the victims and to assess the extent of damages.
While expressing the determination of the state government to the wellbeing of all Deltans, he however said the disasters were preventable. To this end, Ogwezzy told the people “to always give serious consideration to the inevitability of fire outbreaks in their markets and indeed private and public buildings in the state.”
The Commissioner thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for approving the release of funds to the victims despite the economic recession being faced in the country.
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