The Nigerian Community in the United Kingdom has called on all responsible Nigerians across the World to come to the aid of the nation’s flood victims by sending help as thousands of the people are currently in danger of early death because of outbreak of various diseases.
Reports are coming that the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) is raising alarm over a possible outbreak of epidemics in all flood-ravaged states and time is ticking with situations getting worse by the day.
Central Association of Nigerians in the United Kingdom(CANUK) early last month had made a move for a relief appeal in an emergency meeting calling for a quick action before situations get worse across Nigeria in those floods ravaged States. Now, NEMA has confirmed the fears that already, there is an outbreak of diseases in some areas and it may get worse.
Speaking yesterday, Chief (Mrs) Yemisi Agunbiade-Sanusi, the coordinator of the appeal urged Nigerians and friends of Nigerians to act fast so that within weeks, the impact of the appeal will be felt in the designated areas of Nigeria.
Already, about two shipping companies have volunteered to help in the transportation of the materials to Nigeria at reduced amounts, pledging to give support to the calls on Nigerians to respond to the support appeals.
Among the materials requires urgently are medical products, clothings, money (to pursue more purchases on behalf of those inhibited by work schedules), bicycles, beddings, shoes, imperishable food donations( e.g. bags of rice, beans, canned foods, quilt, bed sheets, bed liners, warm clothing, rain protective clothings, towels, children’s toys, books, blankets and other useful materials unmentioned which will be used for the purpose of life relief and safety for the victims.
“Many of the victims are currently in danger of sudden death with many already hospitalized because of outbreak of diseases. We need to act urgently so that we can salvage the life of our fellow Nigerians currently in need”, Chief (Mrs) Sanusi appealed.
Almost 500 people are reported to have died with the government putting the official figure at 363 people in months of flooding in the country. At least 1.5million people are displaced.
The waters are now receding in many parts but there are fears that many of the victims, apart from facing epidemic dangers are having no means of food supply as farmers saw all their crops destroyed by the flood.
It has also been discovered that Hundreds of homes are now inhabited by dangerous animals like crocodiles and hippos while snakes are seen already invading homes in several communities.
President Goodluck Jonathan last month called the floods a “national disaster”.
The National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) on Monday spoke of an impending national calamity if nothing is done urgently to aid the victims.
Almost 20,000 people are being treated for injuries sustained due to the flood onslaught.
The Central Association of Nigerians in the UK with the backing and support of the Nigerian High commission in the UK set up a specialized body called CANUK Emergency Relief Aid ( CERA) to aid the victims. The body is headed by Dr Phillip Ideawo with Chief (Mrs) Yemisi Sanusi as the coordinator. Other members are Mr Charles Eze, Princess Oma-Abel Unoka, Mr Nathaniel Oyinloye and Olalekan Lawal.
The body was given the responsibility of handling the major relief appeal with other volunteers in order to achieve the expected collections, collation and liaison for result-oriented distribution activities.
It is agreed that it is not allowed to receive cash or any form of monetary donations at this time, but those who may want purchases on their behalf can come forward so the committee can act on their behalf.
“The present effort is geared towards material relief collection only. But those impeded by workloads may donate money and tag them for what donations they want while receipts would be obtained towards all purchases on their behalf”, Chief (Mrs) Sanusi appealed.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian High commission has expressed that the Commission’s office at 9, Northumberland Avenue office will be opened on the following weekends in November (10/11th, 17/18th and 24/25th) from 9am – 4pm to receive donations in whatever form.
The Appeal Committee has assured all Nigerians of utmost transparency warning that the situation should not be trivialized and appealed for volunteers who may want to work for the body in the collection of materials and other areas for good result efforts.