By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”No fewer than one thousand homes and business premises have been sacked by rampaging flood in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, following five days of heavy downpour, and this has made life difficult for many families.
The unusual volume of water this year has again brought to the fore the seriousness of the government in tackling the perennial problem where families are forced to relocate from their homes at the peak of the rainy season to high land areas.
Worst affected are areas where new roads were recently constructed by the government, bringing to question the competence of the contractors that handled the projects.
Vanguard observed that several buildings around the Yenizue-Gene, Biogbolo, Yenizue-Epie, Amarata, Ekeki, Onopa and Ovom have been completely submerged by the surging flood.
In some of the areas, pedestrians could hardly differentiate between the roads and drainages flowing with water, which velocity could sweep off even an adult that misses his path.
Given the volume of flood water, some residents were compelled to resort to the use of pumping machines to drain water from their premises.
Also, wooden makeshift bridges have continued to spring up in most parts of the flood prone areas, thereby giving such areas the outlook of urban slums, with residents forced to leave their vehicles miles away from their homes and at the mercy of night marauders.
Some residents, who spoke to Vanguard, blamed the flood on the absence of good drainage system in the capital city, adding that where such exist, water could not flow into them.
They also lamented that the natural drainages in the capital city which could have helped minimize the problem have been turned into dump sites by some unscrupulous persons.
â€œThe situation on ground is frightening; we have not experienced anything like this around July when the rain is yet to reach its peak,â€ lamented Pa Abraham Owei, a resident of Yenizue-Gene whose home was submerged when Vanguard visited the neighbourhood.
Also lamenting the flood menace, a resident on PDP secretariat road who simply identified himself as Selekemeowei, noted with sadness that the water from the environment could not flow into the drainage.
According to him, they even had to complain to the Ministry of Works which said plans were on to address the problem, but nothing was done.
â€œYou can imagine our predicament this year. This is July and several families have been sacked by flood. Some of the surrounding canals which could have served as natural drainage in the absence of well constructed drainage system have been blocked by property developers making it impossible for the free flow of water,â€ he lamented and pleaded with the state government to come to their aid by finding lasting solution to the perennial menace.