The minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq has come out to say that medical assistance has been provided to about 199 Local Government Areas that were affected by the flooding across the Nation.

Hajiya Sadiya Farouq came out to brief the State House correspondence after the Federal Executives Council (FEC) meeting that was presided over by the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbanjo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

She mentioned that as at Friday, records showed that no fewer than 3.2 million persons were actually affected by flooding across the country.

She said: “Today, with my colleague Minister of Water Resources, we made a presentation on the flood situation from the emergency and humanitarian aspect; we also have had series of consultations after the predictions by NIMET.”

“My ministry took proactive early action steps through series of activities; we had technical analysis that produced a 2022 Early Warning Document.”

“We also sent out letters to state governments; conducted a national consultative workshop on the 2022 flood preparedness, mitigation and response at the national and zonal levels.”

“Unfortunately, in spite of all these efforts, the statistics of persons affected as Friday showed that 3, 219, 780 persons were affected by the flood across the country.”

“We have 1, 427, 370 persons that were internally displaced; we have 2776 persons that were injured; we also have 612 persons that lost their lives.”

Hajiya Sadiya Farouq also mentioned that 181, 600 houses were partially destroyed while 123, 807 houses were totally damaged and about 392, 399 hectares of farmlands were completely destroyed.

According to the Minister, this year’s flood has been very “devastating and very unprecedented”

She went ahead to say that they is great need for coordinated response so as to rescue the affected victims of the flood across many states within the country.

The Minister said that what this coordinated response will do is give an opportunity to “operationalise the recently approved National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan”

“Their personnel and teams require specialised and technical training; personnel protection gears and access to the right equipment.

“Most of these specialised officers are skilled in first aid, defensive swimming and also how to handle boats in the riverine areas.

“The efforts so far in these communities are still ongoing with the search and rescue,’’ Farouq added.

The said that the Ministry has received report that in about 144 Local Government Areas, local communities will have to work with the ministry’s team to provide the first aid response to their families and neighbors.

The minister said that this collaboration will show resilience of Nigerians in this trying time.

“Our search and rescue team, which is also responsible for evacuating people and providing life-saving first aid and medical support and referrals to hospitals has also been able to reach 199 Local Government Areas within 25 states of the federation.”

“`We also provided portable water through fire vehicles in the northern and central states like Jigawa, Kano, Benue and Kogi that first experienced the flood.”

”The equipment are now on their way to the southern states as we are stabilising in the north and experiencing flooding in the south.”

“The disaster rescue units of the military are also providing support with equipment.”

“ In the southern states the military is still carrying out surveillance; and aerial assessment of in doubted communities to guide the ground rescue efforts and evacuation of victims of the flood,” the minister said.

She said that they have been commencement of the distribution of relief materials to the affected states.

The Minister said: “We have 22 states that we have been able to deliver these relief items; it is worthy to note that transportation of relief has been affected by some inaccessible areas.

“For instance, in the case of Bayelsa and Kogi, our trucks carrying relief materials were almost submerged on the road, hence the delay in the delivery of relief materials.

“ But, to address this in Bayelsa, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is assisting us by airlifting these materials to the targeted communities.”

“We are also distributing non food items in terms of shelter and other items; NEMA and the NAF officers are organising these materials to be airlifted to Bayelsa and Rivers.’’

She appealed to the ministries and department in various state governments to also collaborate at the sub-national level.

She said that most of the casualties were caused by the “inability to respond to early warning that was being issued by different agencies of the government since February.”

“Government is doing everything possible to see that we bring support and succour to our affected citizens.

“We want them to know that we hear them, we see them and we are with them at this trying moment,’’ she said.