My Flooded Heart Writes Victor Binawari

My Flooded Heart Writes Victor Binawari

My Flooded Heart Writes Victor Binawari

The 2022 didn’t come as a surprise after many predictions from relevant authorities.  So, its devastating impact on lives and properties across the length and breadth of Nigeria is untold. My Flooded Heart writes Victor Binawari on what should be done earlier.

My Flooded Heart Writes Victor Binawari
My Flooded Heart Writes Victor Binawari

The 2012 flood was acclaimed to be the most devastating of floods in recent history in Nigeria. This flood gave a clear signal to what issues we had in our dear country and state. We recorded humongous losses which certainly was difficult to recover from, some never did.

The East West road for example, was cut off which made it difficult for people, goods and services to access our dear state which is a major beneficiary of importation from other states. I recall that at a point P.A. Water was the only sachet water in the state which came from Delta state and there was this protest by the then leadership of IYC not to encourage capital flight in the state which then translated to promoting more locally produced water. Bread was also an issue with many other edibles, is it better now?

Back to the floods, fast forward ten years later because I don’t want to even mention that of 2018 or 2020, we are hit by the same man-made natural disaster. A couple of months ago the Nigeria Meteorological Agency predicted that there would be flooding in 32 states out of the 36 in the country. Were there proactive or reactive plans by the Government and governed?

Some would ask why would you say it is a “man-made natural disaster”. According to the prediction by NiMet and I quote Thisday newspaper of August 17, 2022 “The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) yesterday predicted imminent high risk flooding in parts of Kaduna, Borno, Delta and Bayelsa states between now and October, 2022…Matazu hinted that the situation could lead to flood in such areas if drainages were not properly cleared and managed…timely dissemination of vital information and advisory services on weather and climate-related events and constructive engagement with all relevant stakeholders for adequate uptake and utilization of weather, water, and climate information…He further advised state and national emergency management agencies to intensify adaptation, mitigation, and response mechanisms from now on.”

Also, Punch of September 22 carried a story about the operators of the Lagdo Dam in the Republic of Cameroon opening its gates due to excess water from 13th of September “The released water complicates the situation further downstream, as Nigeria’s inland reservoirs including Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro, are also expected to overflow between now and October ending.

“According to NIHSA, Kainji and Jebba dams have already started spilling excess water from their reservoirs. This will have serious consequences on frontline states and communities along the courses of rivers Niger and Benue.”

The statement outlined the states most likely to be affected as; Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi and Kogi states. It also included some Niger-Delta states like Edo, Delta, Anambra, Cross-River, Rivers and Bayelsa, to expect heavy floods due to normal rains with combined waters of rivers Niger and Benue, as they empty into the region.

Did NEMA and SEMA follow this advisory?

Were drains and canals opened by the authorities in charge? Were relevant stakeholders constructively engaged? Was there any form of sensitization or enlightenment by the authorities?

Now the reality of the flood has hit us so hard that we could never have imagined and a series of interventions have commenced. Federal and state governments approving funds and palliatives for IDPs, all intended to provide succour to the masses, however we have always had issues of it not being adequate or better still getting to the people that need it the most as we have experienced diversion of these items by those saddled with the responsibility of distributing these relief materials.

The issue of unavailability of food, goods and services is another issue as prices have surged and this has caused untold hardship to the masses. Bulglars are also having a field day as properties of flood victims are being stolen on a daily basis.

While I will commend well spirited Bayelsans, NGOs and the Government for their show of love and concern for the masses I will also like to advise some persons who like to catch up on the frenzy of the moment acting all sanctimonious, crying more than the bereaved and chasing after clout that it is not every battle you should fight. People are going through a lot this period and whatever is done should have some sort of sincerity of purpose rather than for the ‘gram’ like my Gen Z friends will tag it but I would rather tag it hypocrisy or ‘hype on Crises’.

This article might not go down well with some people but we are all Bayelsans and we all share in the spoils and gains of our dear state. Let us not forget our miracle Governor’s mantra: Bayelsa First. Victor Binawari

I have been on social media reading and seeing all sort of flood messages with different categories of flood victims which include ;Those affected by the floods genuinely, Businessmen and women that have lost valuables, those who are not directly affected but impacted by the flood as their homes have been converted to IDP camps, those who wish to be affected by the flood and those who are fake IDPs.

If there is anything I have learnt in life is to be grateful for the little things we have as a million and one persons desire to be in our shoes and the self-realization that one just can’t have everything in life, there is always a balance. The moment one realizes that life is not a competition, that’s their moment of peace.

Having said it all, I will like to proffer some suggestions to whom it may concern.
We all know the importance of a proper drainage system which we lack in this clime and the opening of natural canals which has been built on by people that matter in society. It is good that we all have seen the devastation of our decisions and what our indecisions can bring to our environment which is a bitter pill we have all swallowed.

My Flooded Heart Writes Victor Binawari
Picture of flood victim in Bayelsa – My Flooded Heart Writes Victor Binawari

The Amassoma Tombia road was cut off by the flood in 2012 and was fixed, now the same road has been shattered, are we still going to fix it the same way we did or think of a possible bridge(s) at points identified as waterways?

Periodic clearing of natural canals that would aid free flow of water should also be considered. Dredging of the creeks and rivers. Reclamation of land is also another option.

A proper urban renewal plan and implementation should commence and probably search for the ‘mysterious’ Yenagoa master plan to help. I almost forgot that a committee was set up by the state government comprising academic dons from our prestigious Niger Delta University to come up with solutions or suggestions on ways this perennial floods could be mitigated, what happened to that committee?

In as much as the government at all levels is investing in palliatives, relief materials and so on which I consider ‘reactional’ but commendable it will be better to be proactive in our approach to things that we consider a recurring decimal.

This article might not go down well with some people but we are all Bayelsans and we all share in the spoils and gains of our dear state. Let us not forget our miracle Governor’s mantra: Bayelsa First.

While I write from a place of pain, I am still hopeful that this too shall pass and we will get it right someday. We all need to be the strength that the next person needs as we are all in this together.

My Flooded Heart Writes Victor Binawari, an on-air-personality, and CEO Sqilful konseptz. This piece was posted on his Facebook page.


My Flooded Heart Writes Victor Binawari

|| HOME || Arts & Short Stories | BBNaija 2022 | Business News | Education News | Entertainment News | Featured | Gospel News TodayHealth and Fitness | InterviewsLatest News | Movie Review | Niger Delta Today | Online Comedy Skits | Politics Today |  Trends & Lifestyle | TV Reality Shows | Sports News | World News |

Back to top button