Some representatives of various IDPs camps during the presentation of the relief material in Bayelsa
By Nathan Nwakamma
An indigenous oil firm, First E & P which operates the Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 83 and 85 in Joint Venture with NNPC has donated relief materials worth N170 million to some communities affected by the recent floods in Bayelsa.
The relief materials were officially presented on behalf of the oil firm by Ayebatonye Basuo, Head of Social Performance, First E&P., at Danielle Jetty, Oxbow area in Yenagoa on Friday.
The materials were received on behalf of the beneficiary communities by leaders of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps from across Bayelsa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of the Bayelsa government led by Mr Ibiere Jones, Commissioner for Mineral Resources, witnessed the ceremony.
It was gathered that over 24,000 internally displaced persons whose homes and farms were submerged by floods are expected to receive the relief materials.
Items presented as part of the donation included Rice, Garri Noodles, Water, Female Hygiene items anong others.
Speaking at the handover event, Basuo said, “Our thoughts and prayers have continued to be with all who have been affected by the flooding experienced across the nation in the last few weeks.
“We understand how difficult it must have been for people to be displaced from their homes and to see their sources of livelihood adversely impacted.
“At FIRST E&P, we seek to always ensure that through our social performance strategy, our stakeholder communities benefit from our presence on a sustainable basis.
”We drive this through flagship community development programs which cover interventions in the areas of educational, health, infrastructural and human capital development.
“However, when unprecedented disasters like the recent flood occur, we also seek ways in which we can intervene to make a positive impact.”
According to him, the donations will help alleviate hardship from the flood disaster across 48 IDP camps
Gov Douye Diri of Bayelsa in his remarks lauded the JV for showing concern and empathy to people of Bayelsa beyond their immediate host communities, describing the approach as impactful.
Represented by Jones, the governor said that the approach adopted by the NNPC/FIRST E&P Joint Venture was novel, as they thought outside the box by using the IDP camps as points of contact
He also commended the firm for carrying the state government along in the exercise, noting that such shows that they were indeed a partner.
“From what I can see, the value of this intervention is huge, and being a wholly indigenous company owned by Nigerians, it is very pleasant,” he said.
On hand to receive the relief items were representatives of over 40 identified internally displaced persons camps.
Reacting to the donation, one of the representatives, Mrs Charity Godwin, recalled the ordeals of the floods and expressed gratitude to the JV for identifying with the people of Bayelsa.
DSP Konyeifa Austin, from Mechanic Road camp Yenagoa recalled that most displaced people were also victims as criminals made away with valuables they left behind.
He said that the materials would ameliorate the sufferings faced by the people as the flood recedes. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola