By Ike Uchechukwu
NO fewer than 12 communities in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River have been flooded, following two days of heavy rain, which equally destroyed more than 3,000 farmlands.
The incident, which occurred between September 18 and September 19, has rendered hundreds of residents homeless as property worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
Mr. John Inaku, the Director General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, said, yesterday, during an inspection of the affected areas that the economic survival of residents of the submerged communities had been seriously affected.
Inaku stated that more than 1,000 persons had been displaced and taking refuge in nearby communities, adding that the state government had promised to address the plight of the people.
Some of the communities affected are Bago, Unu, Bagabo, Bakie, Bufua and Kakwe-Beebo.
Inaku said: “The deluge of September 18 and 19 has caused massive flooding in 12 communities in Cross River. Property worth millions of Naira were equally destroyed in the process.
“The flood also destroyed farmlands: crops such as banana, cassava, plantain, yam, cocoa and others were also affected, while some bridges were washed away.
“The worst aspect of the flood is that it also destroyed streams that served as the only source of drinking water for the people, while the main access road was washed away as a result of landslide.”
One of the victims, Mr. Bette Obi, Chairman of Cross River Forestry Commission, said the flood wreaked serious havoc on residents of the area.
Obi, who said his cocoa and plantain farms were destroyed by the flood, appealed to the state and Federal governments to come to their aid.
Obi said: “As we speak, our farmlands have been washed away by flood. The streams where we fetch water for drinking has been polluted. We urgently need government’s assistance in our communities to ameliorate our plights.”
Another victim, Mr. Gabriel Ofre, traditional ruler of Bago community, said the flood had displaced his entire household, with his property and other vital materials destroyed as well.
Ofre appealed to SEMA and NEMA to come to their aid, saying residents of the area were peasant farmers, who lived on the meagre earnings from their farm produce.