[FILE PHOTO] Governor Seriake Dickson

Bayelsa State government has ordered the immediate closure of all schools in the state as a precautionary measure to avoid loss of lives in the flood.

The decision was reached at the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting presided over by Governor Seriake Dickson, who also set up a special committee to facilitate effective response to the flood emergency.

Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, on Saturday stated that the highest decision-making body in the state had directed the Ministry of Health to set up an emergency health response unit in the state to mitigate the effect of the flood on the people.

Iworiso-Markson said that the unit was designed to monitor and prevent the outbreak of diseases like cholera.

However, as the state marks the 22nd anniversary of its creation, the government called on the people to seek the face of God in the flood ravaging the state.

The commissioner stated yesterday that the state was in a critical period and in need of divine intervention.

No fewer than 150,000 persons have been displaced, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Coordinator, Emergency Operation Centre E, Rivers/Bayelsa Territory of NEMA, Yakubu Suleiman, told reporters in Yenagoa yesterday that several homes, farmlands, schools and churches had been submerged in communities across the councils of the state.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) yesterday raised the alarm over imminent food crisis in Edo State following loss of forest reserves to activities of some multinational firms operating in the state.

Executive director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi-Ojo, at a workshop on gender inclusivity tagged ‘Making Women’s Voices Count’, tasked Edo women to stand up for their rights and resist land-grabbing in their various communities.

Statistics released by the group revealed that over 60,000 peasant farmers in the host communities in Ovia North-East, Ovia South-West and Uhunmwode councils had lost their means of livelihood to deforestation due to the activities of multinationals operating in the area.

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