In line with it’s constitutional mandate of providing aid to civil authority, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced the airlift of relief materials to riverine communities in Bayelsa State affected by the recent flooding.
The Bayelsa State Government, had on Saturday declared that about 300 communities and villages have either been totally or partially submerged by flooding in the State.
It also said that about 700,000 persons have either been displaced or affected by the flood.
The state government had expressed concern that the impact of this year’s flooding might result in a humanitarian crisis if nothing is done urgently.
Reaction swiftly to the call to assist flood victims, authority in charge of the Nigerian Airforce deployed it’s aircraft to distribute relief materials to stranded in the affected communities in the oil rich state.
A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI) of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet disclosed that the relief materials, were airlifted from Enugu State to Igbogenne community in Bayelsa State via Port Harcourt.
Air Compressor Gabkwet said the items are intended to be redistributed to other riverine communities adversely affected by the recent flooding in the State.
According to him, the airlift of the relief materials also aligns with the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao’s directive to all operational units and commanders to ensure they provide the necessary assistance required by all government agencies towards alleviating the sufferings of Nigerians affected by this year’s unprecedented flooding in some parts of the country.
“The relief materials were airlifted by the C-130 aircraft from Enugu to Port Harcourt and subsequently ferried to Igbogenne in Bayelsa State using the Mi-35M and EC-135 helicopters where it was then redistributed to affected communities and villages.
“More relief materials are expected to be airlifted in the coming days from other parts of the country to affected flooded communities in Bayelsa State and other States in the country.
“The NAF has a long history of providing aids in form of airlift to civil authorities. Recall that in March 2020, the NAF airlifted medical materials donated by the Jack Ma foundation consisting of 107 boxes of medical supplies and equipment weighing over 1,360kg.
“Also, in April 2020, the NAF airlifted medical equipment and supplies donated by the Turkish government from Lagos to Abuja.
Additionally, in March 2021, the NAF airlifted Covid-19 medical relief materials donated by the Economic Community of West Africa States” he added.