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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has commenced the distribution of relief materials to flood affected communities in Rivers.

This was after it had intervened in the reduction of the flood.

The ongoing intervention distribution in ONELGA of the state was witnessed by all the Community Development Chairmen (CDC) in the area.

Mr Yakubu Suleiman, the Head of Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of NEMA in Bayelsa and Rivers, started the distribution on Thursday, in Onelga.

Suleiman said that this phase of intervention was to ensure that the affected communities received means of livelihood after surviving from the shock of the flood.

“The agency knows that the victims need food and non-food items to survive after the flood incident,” he said.

Suleiman said that the agency had done the intervention in all the camps of the affected LGAs and also in more than 50 communities in the area.

He also said that about 71 communities in Ahoada West had benefited from the distribution of 100 bags of rice, garri, salt among others to each community in the area.

Suleiman said that there was a shift of distribution of relief materials from the former system of handing over materials to SEMA or LGA chairmen.

“We appeal to all state governments to embrace the direct distribution concept of NEMA. Direct distribution means, taking the materials door to doorsteps of the affected communities.

“And not handing it over to State Emergency Agencies or Local Government chairmen and then go back to Abuja without reaching the communities.

“This is exactly why we are taking it to the doorsteps of the victims. The communities involved signs an acknowledgement paper for us when they take their materials.

“This shows that they received the materials and we also have our copy in case of doubt,” Suleiman said.

He said that the post food team had taken records of all farms, buildings, health centres, worship centres and fish farms that were affected by the flood.

“This team has been working with us and they will ensure that the victims get what they will use to survive,” he said.

Suleiman stated that the relief for Bayelsa has yet to arrive; the materials on ground at the moment were meant for Rivers.

He said that the distribution was successful due to the cooperation of the communities involved.

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