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The Floods... A jerk from our slumber

28 September 2012, 09:31

I have often times wondered on my own how we intend to manage natural disasters and sudden extreme climatic conditions due to the fact that we do not have a working system to tackle such. For one, how do we respond to the immediate requirement of those affected knowing our emergency response system is zero? Left with no meaningful answers, I always resorted to consoling myself with the fact that God loves us so much in this country, hence He will not allow such disasters we are only better off watching on the television.

The ‘national disaster’ which has displaced 2million people in Kogi state, and left several thousands of travellers stranded on the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene road due to the flooding of the River Niger woke me up from my wishful thinking eventually. This hectic traffic situation has stalled vehicular movement from the Federal Capital Territory to the South and vice versa. The situation is further compounded by the flooding of the Abuja axis of the river which overflowed its bank due to the release of water from Shiroro and Kanji dams.

As usual, going by our fire brigade approach, there has been a presidential directive to the Minister of works, environment and water resources, all hands are on deck and hopefully emergency works will commence on the flooded Lokoja-Abuja highway.

Come to think of it.....Where is National planning? Where are the forecast experts? This is what portrays in a system where people who are being paid to effectively carry out such sensitive duties have compromised for some immediate gratification. It is very disheartening to watch citizens being confined to relief camps just because the lackadaisical government officials are more concerned about pursuing their selfish interests. Trust me; some people will benefit more from the emergency work aimed at proffering a solution to this disaster.  

On the other hand, ‘President Jonathan is deeply touched by the sufferings of Nigerians affected by the flood’ according to his mouth piece but he is far away in New York....I laugh! Talk is cheap but becomes expensive when it is backed up with actions. All we want to see is action, enough of the promises please!

We have a government that waits till there is a crisis before providing a solution. I thought we were taught in school that ‘prevention is better than cure’? But here in our dear country, prevention may be better but the cure will be a get rich quick avenue for some people. So why prevent in the first place?

I know the only reason some State Governors are looking away is either because they are yet to be hit by the flood or there is no likelihood that they will be hit by such. Would have thought history is actually meant for us to learn from and take precautionary measures in order to avoid a repetition especially if it is the negative side of history. As such I would have expected every State to start looking for preventive measure in order to avoid future lethal consequences.

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