The Federal Government has commenced an impact assessment to ascertain the level of disaster in the recent fire explosion at an illegal refinery located at Abaezi community in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
This is part of efforts to know the volume of relief to provide to families affected during the incident.
No fewer than 110 people lost their lives in the tragic incident on April 22 that sent the state and President Muhammadu Buhari into mourning.
A few days after the explosion, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq was in Owerri, the state capital.
Address a press conference on Sunday, she said the purpose of the impact assessment is to assist victims in building their lives back.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director of Relief and Rehabilitation in the Ministry, Alhassan Nuhu, said that disaster risk management is first a local and collective endeavor before it becomes national.
He asked traditional and religious leaders, women, and youth groups to join hands with the federal and state government to serve as watchdogs and continuously advocate against the setup and safe use of refinery facilities in their communities.
“I implore community leaders, traditional and religious leaders, women and youth groups to join hands with NEMA to serve as watchdogs,” he said.
“In order to protect lives, properties, and the environment, it is obvious that disaster risk management is first a local and collective endeavour before it becomes national.
“Our visit today is not only to condole with the good people of Imo State but also to assess the extent of the disaster and also ascertain the volume of relief to provide for the victims for the purpose of assisting them to build them better.”