The Member of the House of Representatives, representing Kolokuma/Opokuma and Yenagoa Federal Constituency, Hon. Douye Diri has called on the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to urgently take steps to ameliorate the sufferings of the victims of last week’s landslide in Okoloba Community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The Federal parliamentarian made the call when he visited the site to assess the extent of destruction caused by the incident.
Hon. Diri, who was accompanied on the visit by Senator Forster Ogola, the senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, also called on other relevant federal agencies to take steps to mitigate the effects of the unfortunate incident, which has rendered a number of persons homeless.
The house member urged the leadership of the ecological fund, the federal Ministry of Environment to take advantage of the 2017 budget process to provide funds for erosion control and shore line protection of Okoloba and other communities that have experienced similar occurences in the past.
He commended the State Government for the urgent steps already taken, especially with the donation of relief materials to the affected individuals and families, while also calling on all relevant federal ministries, departments and agencies to swing into action to mitigate the effects of the incident on the people.
In his words: " We have come to see the degree of destruction that affected Okoloba. We also want to commend the Bayelsa State government efforts in sending relief materials to the people.
"As members of the National Assembly, we assure the people of Okoloba that the matter will be presented before both chambers of the House and every relevant ministry, department and agency of the federal government".
In his remarks, Senator Ogola, who is also a member of the senate community on Environment, equally added his voice to the call for relevant federal agencies, saddled with the responsibility of erosion control and shore protection to come to the aid of the community, pointing out that, a bill setting up a National Erosion Commission has passed its second reading at the senate.
According to him, the bill, which will soon be passed into law, will give the proposed National Erosion Commission the powers to deal more swiftly with cases of erosion and landslide, which affects a whole lot of communities in Bayelsa State and elsewhere in the country.
Senator Ogola, who noted that the senate leadership is very responsive to issues affecting the people, however called on the people of Okoloba to be law abiding and cooperate with local and foreign visitors who will come to the community to take statistics on the extent of damage.
The federal lawmakers also promised to make representations on behalf of the Okoloba community to the leaderships and members of both chambers of the National Assembly, with a view to drawing their attention to the devastating effects of the landslide.