Some of the materials
‘We are using this opportunity to call on government to take steps to holistically climate-proof our communities to ensure that infrastructure and livelihoods are resilient enough to survive events’
By Valentine Amanze
Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has donated relief materials worth millions of naira to victims of the massive flood, which wreaked havoc in many states in Nigeria, recently.
Some of the items already distributed to the six impacted states – Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Edo, Kogi and Rivers – include bags of rice, beans, garri, onions, tubers of yams, cartons of noodles, palm oil, water, mattresses, diapers, disinfectant and many others.
In a statement issued by HOMEF media aide, Kome Odhomor, on Tuesday, seven communities were reached in the six states between November 8 and 13, 2022.
She said that while receiving the items, community members expressed appreciation to HOMEF for always remembering them in their ecological travails.
Members of Ikarama, Okordia clan in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, she said, heaved a sigh of relief as relief materials were handed to them.
According to her, the paramount ruler of Ikarama, Chief Gospel Okah, and the CDC Chairman, Mr. Joel Ebi, expressed gratitude to HOMEF for identifying with them in their time of need.
“We appreciate the organization for delivering the items to us; these things came at a time when we need them the most.
“We have lost food items, mattresses, and all our belonging but these items have brought joy to our heart knowing that other well-meaning Nigerians see the pain we go through.
“Ikarama community is not new to this organization following all the monitoring training it has held for us. We are grateful for such a gift“.
The same gesture, she said, was extended to Iwherekhan and Otu-Jeremi communities in Delta State, where a community member, Mrs Otomewo, said, “In the last three weeks, the experience we have had is something that we will never forget in a hurry. We woke up in the night to find ourselves right inside the river in our bedrooms. I had to run with my family to another community that was not as affected as ours by the flood.
“Today, we thank HOMEF for the kind gesture of providing food items and relief materials to us and identifying with us in our time of need.
“We will not forget in a hurry those who came to dry our tears when it mattered most”.
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Comrade Che Ibegwura, while receiving the support for Erema people in ONE LGA, Rivers State, thanked the organization, stating, “NGO’s are there to help people but HOMEF has shown that it is a family that sticks with the people it associates with. I cannot thank HOMEF enough for this gesture.
“I encourage them to keep up with the spirit of solidarity and comradeship in their advocacy for environmental and climate justice.”
HOMEF also provided relieve materials to internally displaced persons’ camp (IDP) at Oghomere, in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State and to Odogu in Ibaji LGA of Kogi State and Akpeko community in Benue State.
Director of HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, said that the move was part of the organisation’s effort to cushion the effect of this year’s flood disaster on the people and to show that they were not alone in their travails.
“These food items and materials donated will not replace what had been lost or destroyed by the floods. With intensifying extreme weather events more climate disasters may come in the coming years.
“We are using this opportunity to call on government to take steps to holistically climate-proof our communities to ensure that infrastructure and livelihoods are resilient enough to survive events.
“We must support each other and also commit to be better defenders of our environment.”
Bassey further urged the government to take proactive steps in curbing the situation.
“This is the time to begin to look for alternative ways to avert the next year’s flood situation. We should not wait for the next year and expect it not to hit us, rather now is the time to take proactive measures to ensure safety.
“The damaged roads should be fixed immediately and not used for politicking. Comprehensive health checks should also be carried out in affected communities.”
Besides, HOMEF applauded the people for the response mechanisms they adopted in the face of limited help.
The people were advised to continue to stay strong and courageous as they have always demonstrated in the face of the worsening ecological crises.