Bayelsa flood victims groan, beg for assistance

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Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

Some affected residents along the Epie Creek in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State,  have bemoaned their loss and the discomfort caused them by floods that submerged their houses.

Southern City News learnt on Thursday that the impact of flooding caused by the overflow of the waters from Taylor  Creek, tributaries of Orashi and Niger rivers, dealt a devastating blow to the residents.

It was also gathered that the water levels rose beyond tolerable limits and thereby wreaked havoc on houses, the environment and properties of some residents.

Due to the development, some residents were said to have temporarily relocated from their homes to seek refuge in other places.

A resident of the Onopa area of the Yenagoa metropolis, Joy Elvis, said the people were helpless as the assistance promised by the state government in its sensitisation messages had yet to materialise.

Elvis said, “It has not been easy; the water levels have been on the increase and it is usually expected at this time of the year, but on Tuesday the flood entered our houses, destroying properties.  Since then,  we have been under intense pressure.  Worse still,  some of us have no where to run to.

“We need help badly but no one seems to care. We have resorted to moving some of our valuable items to neighbours’ houses because there are no shelters provided by the government yet.

“Our prayer is that the water go back because if it goes beyond this level, even the Good Samaritans accommodating some of us will be threatened as well.”

Another resident, John Abide, said they had been compelled to use local canoes to access their homes, following the constantly rising water levels in the past few days.

He lamented that a lot of people affected were not reluctant to leave as they did not want to become a burden to their friends.

Abide stated, “So, what most people do is to adapt by making wooden platforms within their houses where important things are kept.

“Those who have canoes have put them to use when they needed to go out. We are predominantly people who go to the river regularly to fish; so, we are not so afraid of water.”

Yet another resident, who gave his name only as Preye,  said the recent flood had left a sour tale in the mouths of many residents of the area.

She appealed to the government and public-spirited individuals to come to their rescue in order to give them a new lease of life.

“We know what happened to us is a natural disaster but we are appealing for help. We know that government’s intervention will go a long way in  ameliorating our predicament, “ he stated.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Government has said it is determined to ensure that no life is lost in the flood that is currently ravaging the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, had, while giving an update of the situation, assured the residents that with the proactive steps the government had taken, there was no cause for alarm.

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