Persons displaced by flood in Bayelsa State have bemoaned their plight as they return back to their homes after the state government officially closed Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps in the state.
Bayelsa State government had during the peak of flooding last month, opened IDP camps across the state for persons displaced by the natural disaster. The government also provided meals and other essential items in the camps for the victims.
But as the flood waters began to recede, the state government officially closed the camps and returned the inmates back home, providing a token for each of them to aid their transportation back home on Saturday.
Disturbed by the economic realities in the post-flood scenario, some displaced persons told Daily Trust at Oxbow Lake IDP camp that it will be difficult for them to return to normal lives as all the sources of their livelihood had been destroyed.
They also appreciated the state government for the gesture extended to them by providing shelter and feeding for them during the peak of the crisis.
Mrs Esther Oyi pleaded with Governor Douye Diri to also help them to go home with some food items and start-up grants to continue with their businesses.
She said: “Let the governor help us as we are going home so that we can start afresh. We need his help. They fed us twice in a day, we appreciated it. Government should not allow us to go home empty-handed.”
Other flood victims in the camp, including Favour Christopher and Helen Olowu, thanked the government, for the care while in the camp and urged the state government to help repair the damaged infrastructure in their areas, so that they could return and lead a normal life.
They also pleaded with the government to help address the issues that caused flooding so that they will not suffer the same plight next year.
The coordinator of Oxbow Lake IDP camp and member of the state House of Assembly, Hon. koku Obiyah Ebiowo, expressed appreciation to God for being able to manage over 12,000 displaced persons in the camp successfully.
She said: “We just finished our thanksgiving service because there is nothing more than grace when the Lord watches over you. So we are here to return all thanks to God for his faithfulness. We were over twelve thousand in this camp, God Almighty stood by us day and night. We did not record death, nobody was sick to the extent that hospital couldn’t treat.
“I want to sincerely thank God and the governor for the successful management of the camp. Some people are saying that the departure is rather took quick because some of their houses are still submerged in water; many of them wouldn’t like to go because of the feeding.
“But we are all Bayelsans and we know that the flood has receded in so many places, that is why the governor and the government decided to close this camp today. We will be closing Igbogene camp tomorrow (Sunday) also.”