Bayelsa State has been cut off from the rest of Nigeria as the flood which hit the state has covered bridges and the East-West Road.
The state is also threated by health hazards as several hospitals have been submerged by the flood.
With the development, Governor Douye Diri has given the civil servants seven days to stay away from work due to the difficulties faced by them.
He also confirmed that the state was presently facing humanitarian crisis with over one million persons in the state displaced across Sagbama, Ekeremor, Southern Ijaw, Ogbia, Yenagoa, Nembe and Kolokuma Opokuma local government areas and businesses shut, properties lost and farm lands destroyed.
Governor Diri in a state-wide broadcast at about 7am yesterday, said though the flood was a natural disaster that had affected many other states of the federation to various degrees, nearly a million people in over 300 communities in the state, had been internally displaced. Unfortunately, some deaths had been reported.
He said critical infrastructure like hospitals, roads, bridges and schools, including the state-owned Niger Delta University, Amassoma, the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, and the University of Africa, Toru-Orua, had been severely affected.
According to him, without exaggeration, the sheer scale of the devastation is not such that the state can handle on its own. “We urgently solicit the support of multinationals, international donor agencies, the Red Cross, diplomatic missions and people of goodwill to come to the aid of our state. I appeal to Mr. President to consider special grants to the state from the Stabilization Funds, Ecological Funds and Natural Resources Fund.”
Diri added, “Over the last few days, floods have overwhelmed our communities and severely impacted the lives and livelihood of our people. This is a natural disaster that has affected many other states of the federation to various degrees. I have been on a tour of several of our communities to see at first hand the extent of destruction. Our experience has shown that the flood water empties into our state.
“Government has also observed that at such moments of distress, some miscreants take advantage of the vulnerable population to commit crime. Let me make it clear that we will continue to have zero tolerance for crime and criminality. I know that we are all impacted by this situation, either directly or indirectly. I am also not unaware of the support and love you have shown to each other at this time of adversity. I am deeply inspired by your resilience and solidarity. This is the authentic Ijaw spirit. I salute you all.”
“We are serving a miraculous God who will not leave us nor forsake us. Be assured and strengthened by the words from our state memory verse in Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”