.Anguish as flood ravages Borno, Yobe towns; displaces natives, graves

By Ochuko Akuopha & Ozioruva Aliu

UGHELLI — SCORES of persons have been displaced from their homes and others trapped by the flood ravaging Uzere, Araya, Aviara, some parts of Igbide and other communities in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Meanwhile, in Edo State, farmlands in the agrarian communities of Udaba-Ekphei, Anegbette, Ukpeko Orle, Ofukpo, Agbabu, Osomegbe, Udochi, Yelwa, Ake Island and Ifeku Islay, have also been devastated by the flood, as farmers in some of the areas were sighted embarking on panic harvest in an effort to recover of their rotting cassava, yams and other crops.

In Delta State, it was learned that some residents of Aviara in Isoko South, have been trapped in their homes as the road linking the community to Aviara has been overtaken by flood.

“Some homes that we thought people will remain in until the flood subsides have been submerged,” a source told Vanguard.

In Igbide, some of the victims have started moving from their homes into some of the classrooms in Eru Primary School for refuge.

A resident of the community, Mr. Evawere Orahemo, said: “The flood level keeps rising on a daily basis. It has already affected fish and crop farmers in the community. Everywhere here, you see people peeling cassava due to panic harvest.”

Meanwhile, the Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation in Coastal Region Communities, CROWEF/EWEF, a non-governmental organisation, has called on the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, relevant authorities and the state government to put machinery in motion to ameliorate the suffering of flood victims across the state.

The NGO, in a statement by its President, Mrs Praise Gbubene-Abraham, lamented that many of the flood victims have lost their crops to the surging flood, saying: “They all had to flee for their lives since their homes are submerged.

“At this point, the people are in serious need of shelter, food, potable water, mosquito nets, soap and detergents.”

Communities submerged in Edo, as residents cry out for help

Many of the residents of Udaba-Ekphei, Anegbette, Ukpeko Orle, Ofukpo, Agbabu, Osomegbe, Udochi, Yelwa, Ake Island and Ifeku Islay, had to flee because the water level in most of the communities has gone above the window level of their houses, while those who managed to move around go in canoes.

According to the residents, this was the worst flood they have had since 2012 when they thought they had seen the worst. Churches, mosques, markets, and schools have all been taken over by flood water.

Agricultural produce such as rice, cassava, vegetables, potatoes, groundnuts and others have been completely submerged by the devastating floods. The people are calling on governments at all levels to come to their aid before they start losing their lives due to the devastating effects of the flood.

An indigene of Udaba, Mr Isaac Omoaka said: “My village is completely submerged. Since I was born, I have never seen such a thing. This year’s flood is 10 times that of 2012.

“We have a prominent son who built schools, a hospital complete with a mortuary, laboratory, x-ray and several amenities, all of them are under the water now.”

Contacted, Edo State Commissioner for Special Duties, Osasere Evboumwan, said: “We were in Etsako Central last Friday. I, NEMA, SEMA, the Head of Local Government Administration, WHO and others were all there. We are sending our report now to see how we can provide relief for them.

“Their farms have been taken away by water. Every year this flood comes and NEMA said the only solution to this is to dredge River Niger, otherwise, it will continue to occur.

“For an immediate solution, we are going to be supplying food for them. The IDP centre in Ogomeri is dry and there are facilities there but the people are reluctant to come there.

“We are preparing the IDP camp for them, there are mattresses, there is a generator, the fridge is there, the kitchen is there then we will beef up the medical centre.”

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