Red Cross Seeks partnership against floods, other disasters

2 min read

Independent: The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) has called on government at all levels, corporate organisations and individuals to support the preparedness of 2019 floods ravaging several communities in the country.

Mr Abubakar Kende, the Secretary General of the organisation, made the appeal at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

Kende said reports from various branches of NRCS have shown that 25 states have been affected by flood damaging lives, properties, critical infrastructures and economic livelihood as at second week of August.

“The NRCS record shows that a total of 270 communities in 108 local government areas have experienced floods with severe effects on 405,284 people.

“199,297 have been displaced, 75 people lost their lives with 414 people hospitalised and three missing nationwide.

“We solicit government support to help mitigate and respond to current and future emergencies especially the 2019 floods ravaging our communities.

“We also implore the military and relevant stakeholders to roll out some of their national assets and expertise by deploying Bailey bridges that are portable, collapsible, prefabricated and truss bridges.

“This will enable affected communities cut off from their economic activities and social wellbeing to reunite with their loved ones and return to their livelihoods to prevent food insecurity as most communities affected are agrarian,’’ Kende said.

He added that the support would definitely impact positively on the communities affected as tens of bridges and converts nationwide have already been washed away and cut off by the rampaging flood water.

Kende stressed that it was important that Nigerians and corporate organisations are encouraged to support NRCS and relevant agencies in times of emergencies by supporting through financial and material support as their corporate social responsibilities.

He however advised people living on flood plains to consider relocating to safer places in line with government policies and technical advice from NRCS and relevant organisations.

He also urged media organisations to go beyond reporting damages, injuries and deaths, but to highlight and emphasise humanitarian needs, sufferings as well as how to prevent and reduce the effect of disaster on citizens.

Kende said that the NRCS has closed its 2018 flood response operations launched in July 2018 through June 2019, recalling that the society was the first to respond to flood disaster affected by 22 states in the country.

According to him, this was made possible due to “our high network of trained community based staff, volunteers as well as local and international partnerships and surge support.”

“We were able to provide humanitarian support to the 2018 flood affected population with financial, material and technical support from the NRCS, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, among others.

“The support has helped to cushion the immediate and long term effects of the affected people of 2018 floods in Nigeria,’’ Kende said.

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