FLOOD NIGER DELTA UNIVERSITY, (NDU) CONSIDERING ONLINE CLASSES SAY VC
The Vice-Chancellor, Niger Delta University in Bayelsa State, Prof Samuel Edoumiekumo, has lamented the impact of the raging flood on the university, saying the university premises have been submerged. He said in a particular area of the institution, people could only move around through canoes, but that the management was considering online classes.
In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Friday, Edoumiekumo noted that the institution’s three main campuses; Gloryland Campus, College of Health Sciences both located on Wilberforce Island, Amasoma, and the Faculty of Law campus in Yenagoa, were inaccessible by road.
He said, “The university is submerged and everywhere is affected. We use a canoe to move around one part of the campus. It is at the new site (Faculty of Law) that some places are elevated and they are not so affected but the road to the university is cut off.
“You can’t even get there by road except by speed boat. When you go there by speed boat, you will not have land to walk on because the Amasoma community too is submerged. The whole of the College of Health Sciences; the medical programme is submerged, we can’t even put on power there for now, because if you do, it will cause electrocution.”
He, however, noted that some students will be given access to classes through the university’s online portal.
He stated, “We cannot resume because of the floods, otherwise we would have started. But even at that, we have taken some decisions. There are some students that are going to take some professional exams, so we can’t say that because of the flood they should not prepare for their exams.
“For all those having professional exams, we have directed their provost to work out modalities to teach them online. They will be receiving lectures online to prepare them for professional exams.
“We have an e-learning platform, we can’t just deploy the e-learning tool for all the students because even the lecturers are affected by the flood and they may not be in the right frame of mind to do anything, especially when they are trying to see how their families can be safe.”
While commending Governor Duoye Diri for paying staff salaries despite the flood, he lamented the disruption to their academic calendar.
N’Delta communities displaced
The Foundation for Partnership initiative in the Niger Delta has said that over 100 communities in the Niger Delta have been washed away by the flood, displacing about 7,000 families in the area.
It disclosed this in a data formatted on the P4P Peace Map, stating that, in the recent ﬂood which began in August, over 15 deaths had been recorded in the region.
According to the group, as of October 12, the flood has reportedly killed four persons and displaced over 3,200 households in Delta State while several communities were reportedly submerged in Bayelsa, Edo, Imo, and Rivers States, displacing over 3,800 families in the region.
“Historical and recent data shows that the magnitude, intensity, and duration of floods are increasing in the Niger Delta as a result of climate change. The recent flood disaster was aggravated by extreme climatic events including changes in rainfall patterns and the release of excess water from some dams,” the report stated.
Meanwhile, a civil society group, Sustainability Pathways for Africa, has petitioned the Federal Government over the emergency.
The convener, Chukwudi Njoku, in a petition hoisted on change.org called on the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Local Government chairpersons to swing into urgent action with immediate effect.”
In Adamawa State, records obtained from the state Emergency Management Agency in Yola indicate that 119 primary and secondary schools and 171,000 persons in the state have been displaced by the flood.
The Executive Chairman, ADSEMA, Dr Suleiman Muhammad, said the death toll had risen from 25 in September to 71, and that he feared the floods could trigger food insecurity.
According to reports, out of the 119 primary and secondary schools affected, 88 schools have been overrun completely by the flood.
Suleiman said, “The number of displaced persons stands at over 171,000 as the floods have devastated and disrupted the livelihoods of many families. But more worrisome is the destruction of farmlands which if care is not taken will result in food insecurity.”
Obi visits Bayelsa
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, on Saturday, visited Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State to sympathise with him over the devastating impact of the flood.
He and his team were received at the Government House in Yenagoa by the deputy governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and some top government officials. He later proceeded to the internally displaced persons’ camp at the Oxbow Lake in the state capital.
Obi, who expressed shock at the level of damage caused by the flood, called on the Federal Government and well-meaning organisations to help the state.
Atiku’s Tuesday tour
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says he will on Tuesday begin a tour of states facing immense incidence of flooding across the country.
A statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said the tour would start from Bayelsa State. It added, “Consequently, the tours will provide the presidential candidate the opportunity to have an on-sight impact assessment of these flood incidents and give him a veritable window to input those ecological concerns in his policy documents.”
The statement recalled that Atiku had supported the victims of floods in Jigawa, Yobe and Kano states.
The Nigerian Navy has said it will continue deploying its men and assets to provide security and humanitarian services along the flooded sections of the East-West Road until the flood water recedes. The flood had cut off the East-West Road, especially around the Okogbe-Ihiuke-Ahoada axis.
The Base Information Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship Soroh, Sub-Lieutenant Tochukwu Okeke, under the Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents on Friday.
He said the navy had been ferrying persons and goods between Yenagoa and Port Harcourt as well as rendering medical interventions.