By Austin Ogwuda & Samuel Oyadongha
NO fewer than 20 coastal communities in Delta State, including the state headquarters of Nigeria Immigration Service in Asaba, have been swept by flood.
The Immigration office located on Asaba-Benin highway, has been overtaken by flood from the overflowing River Niger. It was, however, not immediately ascertained if vital documents were destroyed in the office. Officers of Immigration Service, who reported for duty were seen in canoes, trying to access their offices.
Oko community made up of Oko-Ogbele, Oko-Amakom and Oko-Anala appeared to be the worst hit.
Meanwhile, there is fear of outbreak of epidemic in the flood-ravaged Obuwari settlement, also refereed to as Mile I, in Sagbama, headquarters of Sagbama Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
Though no fewer than 300 buildings, including public and private schools in the area, had been sacked by the flood, which is now threatening to invade the Miles II and III sections of the town, some of the affected families were yet to vacate their submerged homes, which are littered with floating human and household wastes.
Though the areas, like several other communities on the bank of Forcados River, are subjected to perennial flooding, the rising volume of water has been a source of grave concern to the natives, many of whom are now exposed to the vagaries of the elements.
Some of the boreholes and surface wells from where the natives source their drinking water have been submerged by the flood, the impact of which has eroded several septic tanks in the area leaving them exposed.
A concerned native, Mr. Reuben Adou, while lamenting the plight of the affected families, said unless urgent remedial steps were taken by the authorities, there might be an outbreak of epidemic in the areas as some of those displaced were still relying on the polluted water from their boreholes and wells for drinking and domestic use.
Also speaking, another indigene, Ogbo Akpoeyi, described the flooding as the worst in recent times, noting that the last time they experienced such incident was in 1999.
He pleaded with the authorities to find a lasting solution to the flood menace and save them the bitter experience of losing all their life savings and property in one swoop to the flood.