By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€” Residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, who have been grappling with flood problems in recent times may soon heave a sigh of relief, as the state government has commenced the clearing of all blocked canals in the capital city.
Yenagoa is endowed with several natural canals and streams, all of which have been turned into huge refuse dump by residents, thereby obstructing the free flow of water after heavy rainfall.
But the recent unusual heavy rainfall in the state and the attendant floods being experienced by residents in the capital city may have prompted the government to deploy swam boggy to the troubled canals to clear the household refuse so as to drain the city of excess flood.
Already, work has been completed on the canal that bifurcates the Amarata suburb linking the Epie creek.
This canal, like others, which could have served as a natural drainage for the densely populated Amarata suburb,but filled with refuse, has been cleared up to the Sani Abacha expressway end.
Some structures on its right of way were pulled down for easy movement of water in the flood-prone area.
Also work around the Ovom area of the state capital city is ongoing, as several structures on the right of way of the natural course of water movement were pulled down.
Some residents, who spoke to Vanguard, said though the exercise was belated, it would help to reduce the volume of trapped flood water which had displaced several families in the last couple of days following heavy downpour.
â€œThe ongoing clearing of the canals in Yenagoa is a welcome development and it is our prayer that government will sustain the action, as it will go a long way in reducing the problem of flood. â€œAs you can see, most of the canals which could have served as natural drainage have been blocked due to the unwholesome activities of residents who, instead of properly disposing their household waste, have resorted to making the canals refuse dump sites,â€ said Ewerekumo Daniel, a resident of Amarata.
A staff of the Yenagoa Capital City Development Authority (CCDA), who spoke anonymously, said government was desirous of curbing the flood menace and urged all property developers not to encroach on the right of way of the natural drainages so as not to have their properties destroyed.
Several families, it would be recalled, have been displaced in the last two months in the predominantly marshy state capital, following heavy rainfall.