By Emma Amaize
WARRI– WATER WEEDS, which effectively took over the waterways, along the Forcados Rivers and its estuaries in Warri South-West and Burutu Local Government Areas, Delta State, have prevented residents, travelers and traders from accessing over 20 riverine communities in the two councils in the last 72 hours.
Reports said that Isaba, Gbekebor, Obotebe, Ayakoromo, Oyangbene, Eseimogbene, Akparemogbene, Egoloegbene among other communities cannot be accessed at the moment by boat and other means of water transpiration because of water hyacinth.
National President, Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusaders, FOHURAC,Alaowei E. Cleric, Esq., who spoke to reporters on the development, asserted: “A large number of riverine communities in Burutu, and Warri South West local government areas have been blocked from travelling to Warri by water weeds, popularly known as water hyacinth.”
“The revolving weeds have completely barricaded River Kototo near Warri. This is the only access river that linked River Forcados to Warri where people moved their goods and services to Warri.
“As we speak now, Isaba, Gbekebor, Obotebe, Ayakoromo, Oyangbene, Eseimogbene, Akparemogbene, Egolegbene among other communities along the Forcados River and its estuaries in Burutu, Bomadi and Warri South West local governments areas cannot travel to and from Warri because of the blockade.
“Even fast boats such as hover crafts and others have to spend two to three hours at the barricaded spot in the river before escaping the scourge of these dangerous weeds. Some locally made wooden transport boats have already spent three to four days in the river with no hope of escaping from the hyacinths which locked the free flow of movement in the surface water,” he said.
Cleric called on relevant government intervention agencies “to take urgent action to arrest the situation,” adding: We specifically call on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Delta State Environmental Protection Agency and National Environment Management Agency, NEMA, to immediately swing into action in order to save the situation.”
His words: “We have no doubt that the affected communities may be faced with the danger of humanitarian crisis as they cannot come to Warri to exchange goods and services.”
“The Delta State Government and representatives in the various governments’ departments from the affected communities as well as the Burutu and Warri South West local governments councils should take a joint investigative visit to the river to see things for themselves in order to proffer an immediate solution. Time is of essence as people are already suffering from untold hardship in the river,” he added.