Over 1000 internally displaced flood victims in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, have received assorted food items and relief materials worth millions of naira from the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor.
Bishop Ezeokafor who donated the items through Justice, Development and Peace Caritas, JDPC, Awka Diocese at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp located at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Awba Ofemili, said he was deeply touched by the plights of the affected individuals.
Among the items donated by the prelate to the flood victims were 200 tubers of yam, 100 cartoons of noodles, 7 bags of crayfish, 7 bags of salt, 50 bags of 10kg rice and 20 cartons of groundnut oil.
Others include 25 rolls of tissue papers, 5 bags of beans, 3 bags of cassava flour (Ntu Akpu), 20 cartons of biscuits, 1 bag of egwusi, 1 bag of ogbono, 1 bag of onions, 1 bag of maize flour and 10 cartons of tomatoes.
Presenting the items, the Bishop said he was shocked to the marrow on seeing the pitiable and devastating pictures and videos of victims’ struggling for survival.
“I did not know that the level of havoc caused by the floodings in Awka North was that huge until a priest sent pictures of the damages to me. I felt for the victims immediately.
“This is the time to show them love and support. We are here today to sympathize with them and prove to them that they are not alone,” he said.
The chief shepherd of Awka Catholic Diocese reiterated his commitment towards affecting the lives of the afflicted and downtrodden in society positively, assuring that the Catholic Diocese of Awka would not allow them to live like people without hope.
He added that they brought the items to ameliorate the plight of the displaced persons and also to cushion the effects of the menace on them.
The Prelate while sympathizing with the victims called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo to expedite action in constructing the Amansea-Ebenebe-Ugbenu-Ugbene-Awba Ofemili road, noting that the deplorable condition of the roads in the area calls for urgent intervention.
“Fixing this road will open up the area and enable the farmers evacuate their farm produce to urban areas as well as quicken the recovery and bouncing back of the flood affected victims.
“This road has been in a sorry state for a very long time. It is high time the government fixed it once and for all.
“These persons need something that will make them smile again. They need serious attention.
“Constructing this road will go a long way in bringing them back to shape and reckoning.
“We are here with camera because we want people to know that it is the right thing to do. Visiting and assisting flood victims should be a collective responsibility. Let’s not leave it for government alone,” Bishop Ezeokafor appealed.
The Charismatic Cleric thanked Gov Soludo for flagging off the road and also for mobilizing the contractors by 50%, stating that the APGA led administration seemed very serious in fixing all the bad roads in the state.
Earlier in a remark, the Awka Diocesan Chancellor, Very Rev Fr Charles Ndubuisi enjoined the victims not to despair but to always believed in God’s ever presence.
He assured them that God would not desert them at their trying moments, citing Matthew Chapter 28 vs 19 where Jesus Christ told His Disciples that He would continue to be with them until the end of time, even as he added Exodus Chapter 13 to round off his words of encouragement.
Speaking, the Director of Justice, Development and Peace Caritas, Awka Diocese, Rev Fr Levi Ukor thanked Bishop Ezeokafor for his fatherly love and care and for the opportunity given to them to deliver on their mandate of catering for the poor and the needy in society.
Fr Ukor urged the flood victims to take solace in the fact that the Universal Church remembered them through the bishop.
Responding the Parish Priest of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Awba Ofemili, Rev Fr Joseph Nwailo expressed gratitude to God for the gift of Bishop Ezeokafor.
He prayed God to continue to bless and keep the bishop whom he described as a true shepherd.