Bayelsa state governor Douye Diri has directed that all schools in the state be closed due to rising floodwaters that have taken over homes, schools, and farmlands.

The closure is all primary and secondary schools across the state.

A statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the directive takes effect from Monday, October 19.

Governor Diri said the decision was taken to avert further danger to lives.

He gave the directive after leading a team of his cabinet members and other government officials on an on-the-spot visit to some of the flooded communities in Yenagoa and Southern Ijaw local government areas on Saturday.

He is visiting other affected local government areas on Sunday.

The governor, who lamented the devastating effect of the flooding on the people and communities, said his administration would not abandon them at this time of need.

He stated that as a concerned government, palliatives would be sent to victims of the disaster as a temporary measure.

His words: “Due to the devastating effect of the flooding that I have seen, I hereby direct the Commissioner for Education to immediately shut down all secondary and primary schools pending when the floods would abate. We do not want to lose lives and we do not want reptiles to cause injuries to our wards.

“Painfully, we have to take this decision because the schools were just resuming from COVID-19 closure and here we have another natural challenge arising from flooding.

“I will continue with this visit to empathize and sympathize with our brothers and sisters. Let me assure all of them that as a state we are with them.”

Diri called on federal agencies, particularly the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to come to the aid of the government and people of the state.

“We also appeal to Mr. President to immediately come to our aid, particularly concerning the ecological fund and all other funds available to ensure that our people are not neglected.”

Diri equally directed the Vice-Chancellor of the Niger Delta University to immediately explore and ensure that a department is created for erosion control in the institution.

He emphasized the need for a permanent solution to the annual flooding challenge, saying the people have suffered enough.