A frontline architect and philanthropist in Bayelsa state, Chief Reuben Okoya has beckoned on all well -meaning Bayelsans both in Nigeria and in the diaspora to contribute their quota to Bayelsans in distress by donating relief materials and other forms of comfort to ameliorate the post flood issues that will arise after the current
flood disaster in the state.
Chief Okoya, who made a cash donation of one million naira to some of the victims at Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps he visited in Ogbia, Amassoma, Boro town Kaiama and Igbogone also revealed that he was touched by
the pains and sufferings being experienced by the people caused by the unexpected displacement from their homes.
Observing that the flood water was gradually receding, the philanthropist noted that the next stage was how IDP’s would go back home and be able to sustain themselves until they get back on their feet.
According to him; “In flood matters, there are pre-flood issues, flood issues and post flood issues. I think we have come to the point where we are dealing with post flood activities. How do these people go back to their homes
that were flooded? If they go back and fall sick, how do they respond? The private sector needs to come in and help them sort outall these,” He hinted.
At Ogbia IDP camp where he felicitated with six women who put to bed at the camp, Okoya promised to do his best to contribute to their up keep and immediately sponsor some sick children and the elderly for urgent medical attention.
He commended the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for coordinating different camps in the state effectively and enjoined medical professionals and other relevant professionals in the state to render free services in the camps as a way of contributing to the relief of the people.
“I will try and see if I can meet some doctors and other medical professionals privately who can visit these camps with some medications and medical services. I am going to organize that with SEMA to ensure that as we go into post flood activities, everybody will be properly settled and returned home safely without diseases”.
“I want to specifically thank SEMA. They have done excellently well. Today I have taken time to go to Bayelsa East, Bayelsa West and Bayelsa Central as a private individual to see what is happening. It is tough when you see people suffering. In Ogbia we saw babies being born in the IDP camp. Two were born today. But it is gladdening to see
that government is doing something”.
On a permanent solution to the flooding in the state, Architect Okoya said there has to be a holistic approach where scientific studies would be commissioned for experts to brainstorm and proffer ideas, all drainages must be cleared and kept neat while all natural water ways should be identified and made to flow uninhibited.
At all the camps visited, officials of the state emergency agency (SEMA) were on ground to receive him and explain the nitty-gritty of their assignment, while the IDPs received words of encouragement from the Architect.
Receiving the cash donation at Kaima, Ikeama Ebiowei, SEMA representative Kolokuma Opokuma thanked Okoya for remembering the flood victims adding that since the victims have been there, it was only government officials that have been coming.
He added; “You are like a pacesetter since our people resumed here, no individual, no organization, has come to their aids. You are the first person doing this. For what you have done, others I believe will follow suit. Let them come and help. We are all brothers and sisters.