By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa – For the second time in eight days, most civil servants in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, yesterday, shunned work to battle flood waters that invaded their homes.
This followed a downpour, Tuesday evening, which submerged most parts of the capital city.
Even the makeshift wooden bridges that were erected in some of the flood prone areas to enable residents access their homes were not spared as they were completely submerged by the flood.
Yenagoa is a vast stretch of low swampy land with several canals which could have served as natural drainages in the event of heavy rainfall.
But these natural outlets for excess flood have been blocked over the years due to the erection of structures on its right of way by land developers as well as construction of roads without recourse to carrying out comprehensive environmental impact assessment before embarking on such projects to determine the course of the water route.
No fewer than 600 families, including the Sun Newspaper correspondent, Femi Folaranmi and the Reuters reporter, Tife Owolabi, were affected by the Tuesday’s flood, which submerged their homes and some of the newly constructed roads in the capital city.
Worst affected were settlements around the Erepa Road, Old PDP Secretariat Road and some parts of Otiotio Road in the Yenezue-Epie suburb, Foingha Jephath Road, Kpansia and parts of the Biogbolo suburb of Yenagoa.
This reporter, who went round the affected areas observed large volume of water with several buildings submerged.
The owners of the affected buildings, who are mostly civil servants were seen, yesterday morning clearing the blocked drainages in their neighbourhood to create outlet for the trapped flood water to move.
While most civil servants who were forced to stay back by the development were seen scooping water from their living homes, others used pumping machines to drain water away from their premises.
One of the affected persons, who gave his name as Tarilah Dakore lamented the seasonal problem, adding that they were always apprehensive whenever it was cloudy.