No fewer than five host communities in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State have received relief materials from United Nigeria Airlines in a bid to mitigate the effects of the flood disaster on victims in the State.
This is also as the airline has resumed daily flights to the State.
The airline said the daily flight resumption is part of the ways to help the movement of persons from the State to other places as the flood has displaced millions of people.
Speaking during the donation of the relief materials to the representatives of the host communities, Capt. Chimara Imediegwu, the Director, Flight Operations at United Nigeria Airlines said the items being delivered to the victims of the flood will help reduce the current hardship in the State.
“This is not a lot and we would wish we had a lot but we thank God that the people have survived and I love the Nigerian spirit that never gives up. So, we are looking forward to better days ahead and we want to thank God that there is a future and we look forward to our children growing in a better environment”, Imediegwu said.
He called on other private organisations to rise to the occasion by providing whatever help can be given.
“We know that people have been rendered homeless, there are cold and insect bites and there has to be food and water to drink. So we are appealing to the rest of private and government arms to help and reach out now that our people are in need and not wait until we mourn,” he added.
Gbaranbiri Eselemo, commissioner for Environment expressed his gratitude to United Nigeria Airlines for standing in for the people during these trying times.
According to Eselemo, over 400 communities are displaced, ancestral homes are being lost to the flood, and there have been casualties that the State has lost to the flood.
While expressing his gratitude to United Nigeria Airlines, he said “It is when you are in grief that you know your friends. United Nigeria Airlines has proven to be a friend and brother to Bayelsa. Thank you for empathizing with us and for standing in with us.
“You have said you are bringing more to the affected victims and particularly your host community. The State government and the governor will be receiving the information from us. We will continue to work together so that tomorrow will be better for all of us,” he said.
Alakamo Ogbe, Chairman Landlord Forum of the five host communities affected by the flood said the relief materials will help reduce the current hardship while calling on other organisations to also intervene.
Managing Director, Bayelsa International Airport, Dr. Abraham Apereseimokomo, said United Nigeria Airlines is a private entity and they owe the host community a duty of care, which they have exemplified through donations.
“For the fact that this has happened, the management of Bayelsa International Airport is elated and they want to say a big thank you. The message will get to the governor of Bayelsa State,” Apereseimokomo added.
Items donated include bags of rice, noodles, salt, sugar, cooking oil, potable drinking water, and beverages amongst others.