Flooding: Displaced by the displaced



When Fela the afro legend composed the song, “Water e no get enemy”, little did he realize that years later, the same commodity that he so much applauded would turn out to be a devil to many.
Those who were directly or indirectly affected by the current flood disaster that have ravaged the entire country would definitely not join in singing that melodious song presently.
No doubt, water is as essential as life itself but the flood disaster has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the same essential commodity can be very catastrophic. After all, whatever that has advantages, would always have some disadvantages.
The word displacement have become a household name, having been popularized by the flood taking a swoop of the entire nation. One can hardly mention flood without talking about displaced people.
So many people who were affected by the flood have been forced to abandon their homes to flee for safety. Their houses have become inhabitable as they have been submerged by the flood.
Besides the taking over of the houses by water, the flood came with it some dangerous wild animals that can pose serious health hazards to the life of the people affected. In fact, it was reported one of the states recorded a hipopotamus finding its way to one of the houses.
With the coming of the flood, the victims had no option but to urgently seek for temporary shelter elsewhere. While some were accommodated in churches and mosques, others found themselves in schools.
In order to accommodate the displaced persons, both the religious and academic institutions which have been automatically converted to refugee camps have to quickly adjust their programmes and time tables to suit their emergency visitors.
For the schools (mostly primary), the displaced pupils were distributed to the different nearby schools, who were also forced to adjust their programmes to create room for their guests.
While their host attend the normal morning sessions, the displaced pupils were left with the option of the afternoon sessions. Of course, learning under such conditions can only be better experienced than explained.
Narratting their ordeal in one of the schools that was converted to camps for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Benue State, one of the school teachers, Mike Iorpuu said the displacement of the pupils have really affected their studies and would eventually reflect in their performances.
Iorpuu who incidentally doubles as both the assistant health teacher of the school and the commandant of the IDPs camp however said that some of the tenderly ones who may not withstand the scorchy afternoon sun were considered for the morning session.
These level of sacrifices and selfless services displayed by both the religious and educational institutions is quite commendable and challenging.
Though one may argue that those of the educational institutions in particular do not have option to the role they played being people under instructions, but their ability to be their brothers’ keepers by accommodating them is a clear demonstration of magnanimity. After all, the flood victims were not the architect of their misfortune as flooding is a natural disaster.
In as much as the schools, churches and mosques have made themselves available to the IDPs, it is important to note that it is just a temporary arrangement and should not be abused by allowing them to remain there longer than necessary.
All hands therefore must be on deck to ensure the quick return of the IDPs to their base so as not to overstay their welcome and constitute nuisance to their hosts.
The federal government decision of disbursing fund to the affected states as announced by Mr. President while addressing the nation on the flood calamity is a welcome development.
But beyond mere announcement, it should ensure that the funds are are not diverted but properly and judiciously managed by the relevant bodies to get to the appropriate persons.
Again, it should make good its promises of facilitating the speedy completion of the dams and the construction of new ones to avert future re-occurance.
It should also find a means of drying up the water logged areas and making it habitable once again.
Other spirited Nigerians should assist the efforts of government in their own ways to bring a lasting solution to the menace.

So many people who were affected by the flood have been forced to abandon their homes to flee for safety. Their houses have become inhabitable as they have been submerged by the flood.


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