Ossomala Farmers Fault Distribution Of Flood Relief Funds
Farmers in Ossomala, Ogbaru local government area of Anambra state have said the flood relief fund distributed by the government had little or no effect on their recovery process, as it was not properly and equitably distributed.
The 2012 flood ravaged over seven local government areas in the state but Ogbaru and Anambra West local government areas, which are water logged areas, were the worst hit.
At St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish, Reverend Father in-charge Chris Ossomala recalled the untold devastation of the flood which caused the destruction of properties and complained of the process of government intervention.
Also, Mrs. Omelogo Eke, a commercial cassava farmer, who produced over eight basins of cassava for sale in the local market, complained of the poor intervention from government. She said she was forced to lend money to ensure that her business did not collapse, as it was her family’s only source of livelihood. On his part, Mr. Obiorah Oranyelu, a physically challenged cassava and yam farmer commended the government for intervening at all but expressed bitterness over the way the flood relief fund was distributed, maintaining that it did not really serve the purpose it was meant for.
Although the government had said it would assist the affected communities, the farmers said their hopes were dashed and called on the government to device a better means of distribution, so the donations can get to the targeted people.
The farmers say cultivation of a hectare of land costs between fifty to sixty thousand naira. While the dissatisfaction goes on, the farmers suggested that government should distribute any relief to targeted farmers to achieve result and in his suggestion; Rev. Fr. Odimegwu said government should extend the relief to school fees to support the struggling parents.
In his reaction, the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of Flood Intervention Committee, Oseloka Obaze explained that all the money the federal government released to Anambra for the flood intervention was properly channeled.