September 23, 2018

Flood overruns more Delta riverine communities, victims sleep in canoes

Speed boats conveying relief materials from Delta state govt to flood victims in Tsekelewu community, Warri North local govt, Saturday.

*Ndokwa East leaders say pupils affected by 2012 flood still sit on floor
* Gov Okowa sends relief materials to Tsekelewu flood victims

BOMADI- RESIDENTS rendered homeless by raging flood, which submerged over 20 riverine communities in Bomadi, Burutu and Ughelli South Local Government Areas in Delta State, freshly, were reportedly passing the night in their canoes under bad weather conditions.

Speed boats conveying relief materials from Delta state govt to flood victims in Tsekelewu community, Warri North local govt, Saturday.

This happened as community leaders in Ndokwa East local government area of the state, raised the alarm that pupils whose schools were affected by the 2012 flood were still sitting on the floor to study in their schools due to lack of seats, even as they face another surge.

However, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, on Saturday, sent the Chairman of Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, Mr. Aduge Okorodudu, to provide relief materials to victims of Tsekelewu, an Ijaw community in the area overrun by flood about a fortnight ago.

Mostly affected in the Bomadi, Burutu and Ughelli North flood storm were Ayakoromo, Eseimogbene, Egolegbene, Akparemogbene, Oyangbene, Ekametagbene, Gbekebor, Obotebe, Okrika, Akugbene, Enekorogha, Ekogbene, Kalufuogbene, Eberegbene, Edegbene, Okoloba, Furukama, Okuboama and Ogodobiri communities, along the Forcados River, Ramos Creek and their estuaries.

National President of Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusaders, FOHURAC, a rights group that deployed a team to some of the affected communities, Alaowei Cleric Esq. in a statement, said: “It sounds so miserable that in some of these communities, people slept in their canoes because their houses have been overtaken by flood.”

His words: “People cannot go about their lawful businesses because of the flood. The situation has occasioned a humanitarian crisis as starvation and epidemic is looming in the affected communities.”

Calling on relevant government agencies to intervene, Cleric asserted: “The seasonal flood currently ravaging towns and villages in parts of the country has wrecked an untold havoc on the flood prone riverine communities in Delta state. FOHURAC sent its Disaster Response Team to some of the affected communities. The reports we are hearing are very pathetic as most of the communities affected have been submerged by the raging flood.”

“The government of Delta state, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), local and international donors should please come to the aid of these communities. We plead with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to embark on an on-the-spot-assessment of these affected communities.

“The people need an urgent government’s attention otherwise it will lead to regrettable human casualties. People of goodwill should please come to the rescue of these communities,” he said.

Meanwhile, indigenes of flood- ravaged communities in Ndokwa East local government area of the state have expressed frustration at the devastating effects of the natural disaster on their socio-economic lives, lamenting that their predicaments could be worse than what they experienced in 2012.

Aside Ashaka, Ossissa, Obikwele, Iselegu, Umuachi-Ogo and a few others, flood submerged virtually all the communities in the council area.

Worse hit were Abala-Oshimili, Abala-Obodo, Utchi, Lagos-Iyede, Iyede-Ame, Onyah, Umuoru, Adiai-Obiakor, Onogbokor, Anyama, Akarai, Inyi, Onuabo and Aboh, where indigenes have been completely displaced from their homes as water continues to flow unabatedly from the River Niger into the agrarian communities.

Leaders of the communities, who held an emergency meeting at Ashaka, recounted their ordeals in the 2012 flood, just as they appealed to state, federal governments, corporate bodies and public-spirited individuals to come to the aid of the people who flood destroyed their farmlands, agricultural produce and other sources of livelihood.

Gathered under the aegis of President and Secretary Generals Association of Ndokwa East local government area, youths and women leaders of communities, the people decried what they described as a total disconnect between the people and the ruling class.

President General, Ani Ndokwa Clans Association, Prince Igwe Nzekwe said: “Since after the 2012 flood that ravaged the entire Ndokwa East local government Area and left most of our private and public facilities dilapidated, our children are still sitting on floor to read in some areas as a result of lack of seats in public schools.”

“Buildings remain with leaking roofs, falling ceilings and broken walls. Few examples like Mixed Secondary School Utchi, and the only primary health centre located at Oboma Utchi serving the seven communities that make up Utchi Kingdom is in shambles, including primary schools and health centres at Umuti in Akarai are all in shambles,” he bemoaned.

Secretary General of the association, Chief Ike Ijeoma, urged government to take urgent steps to relocate the people from the communities. He, however, said “We are vehemently opposed to any arrangement where our people are made to be subjected to all manner of treatments in emergency camps by representatives of government that are not indigenes as was the case in 2012.”

Contacted, Chairman of Ndokwa East local government, Mr. Juan Governor, lamented that flood had cut off the communities; saying efforts were on to relocate indigenes of the communities to Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps, adding: “We are doing all that is necessary to provide a safe haven for them.”

Presenting relief materials on behalf of the state government to Tsekelewu community leaders, Warri North boss, Okorodudu, said: “Visiting Tsekelewu today with these relief materials is a show of love that we have a governor who shares in the pains of Deltans.”

Okorodudu, represented by the Secretary to the Local Government, Victor German, asserted, “The governor is a man with the heart of gold and we should continue to support his SMART agenda.”

He also appealed for federal and state governments’ assistance in the incessant cases of floods at Jakpa, Kolokolo/Tisun and other submerged communities in the local government.

Tsekelewu community leaders, Mr. Dickson Asoki and Chief Ukulor appreciated the governor and council chairman for coming to the rescue of the people.