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Flood alert: Fears in Bayelsa riverine communities over rising water level

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By Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa—The rise in water level is now causing fear in communities along the bank of the rivers in Bayelsa State. The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, had listed Bayelsa as one of the 12 states that might experience  high  flood this year.

Though the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, said it had set up Internal Displaced Person, IDP, camp in the state in the wake of the flood alert in the country, indigenes of communities especially those along the bank of the River  Forcados and River Nun are troubled by the rising water level.

Bayelsa is predominantly riverine with most of its communities lying along the rivers and creeks, making them vulnerable to flooding and landslide.

Some Bayelsans who spoke to Vanguard, said though the water had been stagnant in the last two days, they however, expressed fear that it might surge especially with the heavy downpour being experienced in the state and the reported release of excess water from Lagdo Dam by the Cameroonian authorities.

“The rate at which the water is rising is giving us cause for concern due to our low shoreline and vulnerability to flooding. We are more disturbed by the reported release of excess water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon,” said Preye, a resident of Sagbama.

Already, the State Emergency Management Agency, had purchased relief worth millions of naira in anticipation of possible flood, according to its head of administration, Torukuru Adakien.

According to the agency, relief materials such as clothing, blankets, food stuffs and mattresses had been purchased and plans concluded to sensitize the general public on measures to take to reduce effect of the flood.

The agency also urged residents to clear all blocked drains in their neighbourhood as well as avoid erecting structures on canals right of way and dispose their refuse properly.

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