By JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
CALABAR—NO FEWER than four persons have been confirmed dead while over 26, 000 people displaced as a result of a devastating windstorm that affected eight local government areas in the northern part of Cross River State.
Apart from property worth several millions of Naira that was destroyed by the windstorm, over 2,200 public and private houses had their roofs either blown off or completely destroyed.
The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund, UNICEF, Desk Officer Mr. Anthony Unoh, and Programme Manager for State Emergency Management Agency, Akpotu-Adesi, conducted newsmen round some of the affected communities.
According to them, the affected local government areas include Ikom, Obanliku, Bekwarra, Obudu, Yala, Ogoja, Odukpani and Boki.
They said the disaster prompted Governor Liyel Imoke to invite the Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for necessary assistance to the victims.
Students in most of the affected secondary and primary schools were however, studying under trees or shades, with the worst hit schools being the Secondary Commercial School, Kakwagom, St. Patrick’s Primary school, Kakwagom, and the Bawop Secondary School, all in Boki Local Government Area.
Speaking to newsmen, the Head teacher of Secondary Commercial School, Kakwagom, Mr. Robert Otu-Obi, appealed to the state government as well as donor agencies to come to their aid as teaching and learning had become very difficult.
”As you can see, the teachers are under the tree shades, hoping always that it will not rain,” he said.
He regretted that school enrolment had reduced following the windstorm which he said was the worst in many years.
Mr. Aliko David Mkpa, a community leader from Utugwang said he lost his house to the windstorm while his family has relocated to the neighboring community, adding, “we need help from government and other donor agencies immediately because it has become very difficult for us to even eat.”