ECOWAS donates $382,000 to Nigerian flood victims
By Rebecca Mu'azu, Abuja
The West African Regional Bloc, Ecowas has donated $382,000 to assist victims of flood disaster in Nigeria.
The Ecowas Commission President, Mr Kadre Desire Ouedrago, made the donation to the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, in Abuja.
Mr Ouedrago said the donation, which is over 61 million Naira, is to alleviate the suffering of the people affected by the flood in the country.
“This donation of the sum of 382 thousand US Dollars is within the framework of supporting our member states to alleviate the suffering of our people, the people of Nigeria, affected by the recent flood disaster,” he said.
The President said the region faced enormous challenges and the regional bloc was thriving to build resilience of member countries and empower people and structures to resist the consequences to humanitarian disasters.
The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, said the ECOWAS donation would help the government in its efforts to ameliorate the suffering of the victims across the country.
“It is for this reason that we truly appreciate the gesture by the ECOWAS Commission. The Federal and state Governments have taken and are still taking measures to ameliorate the suffering of the victims. This donation would go a long way in helping that process,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency,(NEMA) Alhaji Sani-Sidi, commended the gesture and called on ECOWAS member countries to collaborate to build the required capacity to mitigate the effect of disaster.
Alhaji Sani Sidi said, “In addition, it is important to know that the prevailing hazards in the region are across boundary in nature. Therefore, there is the need for joint action and collaboration across the Ecowas Sub-region to build the required capacity needed for proactive mitigation, preparedness and response”.
The recent flood disaster in Nigeria is said to be the worst to hit the country in over forty years.
Reports say over 350 people have died and 6,000 homes destroyed, rendering over 2 million people internally displaced.
The Nigerian Government says it is adopting several measures to bring relief to these victims.
Meanwhile, the humanitarian agencies in Nigeria are appealing for $38 million to respond to widespread flooding in Nigeria which has affected over 7.7 million people.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, says the bulk of the funding will go to support the restoration of water, sanitation and hygiene services.
A survey conducted by UNICEF in the affected regions indicates that most of the displaced people are getting their drinking water from ponds, streams and unprotected wells.